Wal-Mart officials continue to keep the mammoth supercenter closed in Mason City due to a roof collapse on Saturday morning. A structural engineer is expected on the grounds today to review if the building can be occupied. Heavy rains in the area Friday night and into Saturday morning are to blame for the structures collapse and officials fear that the rest of the roof may be vunerable considering the level of storms that passed through the area last night.
At 8:18 Saturday morning, the Mason City Fire Department was dispatched to a roof collapse at the Mason City Wal Mart Shopping Center, 4151 4th Street S.W. in Mason City. While in route dispatchers notified the department that there was a strong odor of natural gas and that Alliant Energy had been notified. On arrival they found an employee was trapped inside a semi-trailer and confirmed the gas leak and shut off the gas to the building. The air was monitored and the employee was assisted out of the area. The roof collapse was in the southeast area of the building where the loading dock is located. The Fire Department made sure that the building was secured for electrical, gas and sprinkler systems.
Alliant Energy shut off the gas to the building and says that the natural gas danger is now minimized, however repairs to the lines may be needed.
Wal-Mart officials met first on Sunday to discuss further steps to re-open the store. According to store officials, until they receive the “all clear” from the structural engineer, the store will remain closed.