Officials think heavy rains cause roof to collapse

By: Rebekah pewitt Email
By: Rebekah pewitt Email

EAST BERNSTADT, Ky. (WYMT) - Severe weather throughout Laurel County caused a roof to collapse on one East Bernstadt building.

One business owner says he was in the process of setting up a hardware store, but that plan has been set back now that nearly one-fourth of the building is completely gone.

Owner, Donald Hurley says he couldn't believe it, and says he Is still shocked by what he found when he got to work Friday morning.

“I got here to work about 9:20am, and that's when I discovered that it fell in,” said Hurley.

The roof and walls collapsed on part of his building in East Bernstadt that he was renovating.

So Hurley says he called the East Bernstadt Fire Department to check things out.

“Of course first of all we were worried about public safety. We asked the owner if anybody was in it and he said no, everyone was out. We came over here and basically this is what we saw,” said Firefighter Frank Votolato.

Votolato says he doesn’t know what caused the building to collapse, but they think the heavy rains definitely contributed.

“Anytime you have anything with a flat roof on it that has the opportunity to hold a lot of water, that adds weight on it very quickly,” said Votolato. “With the added weight on it, that sure could cause the building to collapse like this.”

Laurel County Emergency Management officials say the rain caused flash flooding the area and could cause more over the weekend.

Hurley is just glad no one was inside when the storm hit saying, “nobody was hurt so I smile. That's all I worry about.”

Mr. Hurley says he is waiting on his insurance company to come look at the building before he starts renovating again.

Officials are advising anyone living in flood prone areas to be cautious during this weekend's severe weather.

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