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Heavy snow on roofs raises concerns for major Lehigh Valley businesses

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 16 2014 06:07:08 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 17 2014 11:45:41 AM CST

Snow causes roof concerns

HANOVER TWP., Pa. -

The Wegmans in Hanover Twp., Northampton Co., is a busy place on a Sunday.

"I love Wegmans. That's the best store around here," shared one shopper.

But this was not a normal Sunday. Carts sat untouched, and customers were turned away, bags in hand.

The store was shut down Saturday night after a manager noticed some poles near the front of the business were flexed.

"The fire department last night closed the store down out of concern," explained Craig Hoffman, senior vice president of operations for Wegmans.

Officials were worried about the stability of the snow-laden roof.

The fire department was called in and an engineer came to inspect the structure. Employees were sent home as the 24-hour grocery store was evacuated. It remained empty for about 17 hours.

"That's the most important thing: the safety for our customers and our employees," Hoffman added.

Around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, the caution tape came down after the Wegmans was cleared to reopen. Officials said building was deemed structurally sound.

"There's no damage whatsoever to the facility," said Hoffman.

This kind of scare isn't exclusive to Wegmans. A similar situation happened Saturday morning at the Amazon warehouse in Upper Macungie Twp., Lehigh Co.

The facility was shut down around 9 a.m. after workers were worried about a sagging roof. The plant is now open. Amazon officials told 69 News an engineer confirmed there are no issues with the roof.