Oakdale Kmart garden center collapses

Even buildings are tired of the weather this winter.

Following a blizzard that dumped about 10 inches of snow on the Twin Cities Feb. 20, the roof of the outdoor garden shop on the east side of the Oakdale Kmart, located at 7191 Tenth St. N., caved in the morning of Feb. 21.

According to a police report, officers responded to the scene around 9:30 a.m. after the collapse triggered a fire alarm and heavy snow entered the exit doors to the main building.

After determining there was no fire, officers, assisted by the Oakdale Fire Department, shut off the water line in the sprinkler room and blocked off the area to customers. No one was injured, and the collapse was not visible to customers from the inside of the store.

City building inspector Bill Schmitt was on the scene and says the garden center structure, which consisted of some light framing, was simply not designed to support the weight of the thick, wet snow.

He says roof collapses aren’t a common phenomenon, but the large amount of precipitation caused the garden center roof to detach from the main building.

Schmitt says Kmart is currently working on removing the snow and expects to see some building permit applications addressing the issue in the near future.

A store manager did not wish to comment on the incident, but said the store was “open and operating.”

-Johanna Holub


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