Snow causes building collapse concerns in Princeton

We’ve seen this week how snow can create hazardous driving conditions, but the weight of the snow is creating some problems for an historic downtown building in Princeton.

“A few of the bricks have fallen out here.  This looks like this wall is kind of leaned in against this wall,” said fire chief Bent Francis as he was looking at the Ratliff Building.

He admits, it could be out his control.  The Ratliff Building, a fixture downtown, is showing signs of buckling from this week’s snow. “We’re afraid it could bring the building down,” Francis said.

The state closed one block of 139, a major access road next to Rod Whittington’s drug store.  “90 percent of my business is from the drive-thru window,” Whittington said.
He isn’t too concerned about a building collapse because he coats his roof twice a year.  “Put like a rubber coating on top of the building and prevents leaks and snow and ice from getting under the building,” Whittington told Local 6.

The second floor ceiling of the Ratliff Building already gave way and Francis said more wet weather could stress the building even more. “All that adds up to additional weight in roofs that normally don’t have on them,” Francis said.

Chief Francis said because of the weather we’re expecting this weekend, the portion of 139 across from the courthouse will be closed at least another week, if not longer.

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