Minnesota mall roof collapses under weight of snow

Originally published at: Minnesota mall roof collapses under weight of snow | Boing Boing


If it’s like the malls around here, I assume there were no injuries as no one was in the building at the time. Or ever.


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I am told that many Minnesotans still spend a lot of time at the mall in the winter months (at least at the Mall of America) simply because there aren’t a whole lot of other options for getting out of the house when the temperature rivals that of Neptune.


My buddy went to Jesus college in Fargo and said that they were basically inside under fluorescent lights for 6+ months of the year to the point their skin would yellow. Tunnels between buildings and everything. No thanks!


I was in the Twin Cities during the coldest week of the year (last week of January into the first week of February), and tons of people were out enjoying the snow at local parks. Which is pretty normal in the winter. Not so many people at the giant mall. We only went to the dumb thing so Jr. Kidd can say he’s been there.


Malls in Canada continue to thrive for the same reason. Other forms of shopping are a lot less pleasant at -30.

As for this roof, yah, snow loads are no joke. Around here the building code for roofs is 12:12 pitch (45°) because of snow loads. The steeper the roof, the less snow can accumulate, and the more that weight is distributed down into the walls.

Of course you can’t do that for large commercial structures, so I’m not sure what the codes are for those.

I’d be one of them! Shopping indoors is nice, but otherwise I spend more time outside in winter, frankly. I’ll take chilly and pretty over bugs and sunburns any day of the week. I hate hot places.


I’ve only been there during the summer but the Mall of America seemed to be doing pretty brisk business on the rainy day we visited a couple years ago.

I imagine a lot depends on whether the conditions outside are more “winter wonderland, perfect for sledding!” or “ah, now I understand why Dante depicted the deepest circle in hell as a frozen waste.”


You’re soooo Canadian. :smirk:

But I’m Minnesotan enough to have earned a varsity letter in Nordic skiing. :joy:

@Brainspore: You’re definitely going to find more people at malls when it rains. That’s “a thing” in Michigan, too. We used to go to our crappy local mall a lot in the summer because it was cold in there. We also went to a lot of movies.


It collapsed right before business hours, so thankfully no one was under it. The mall (like all malls) has lost shoppers, but there are still a lot of people who go there to get away from the snow (lol), and/or to visit some of the other businesses connected to the mall (medical clinic).


I live in Duluth (home of the mall with a sunroof!), and the local meme game has been very strong!

This one has strong “mall employee who’s see it all” energy: :joy_cat:


I love the Kool Aid man one, it’s perfect!


:joy: The Kool Aid man is

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When it’s 40-below, you’ll be saying “Yes, please!” (also, you can spend your college years wearing shorts all winter, so there’s that :stuck_out_tongue: ).


That’s why I rejected my faith so I don’t have to make those kinds of decisions. :wink:


Update from Duluth: more buildings are collapsing under heavy snow!

It’s currently snowing. It will snow more tomorrow. It will likely snow the day after.
It will probably never stop snowing…


My neighbour’s son is a crane operator, he works for a company that’s specializes in removing snow from roofs.

He just drove 14 hours to Minnesota for a bunch of snow clearing jobs.

I know snow can by an extreme weight but you would think code in those areas would require building for snow.


IIRC it’s actually very nice in June and July :thinking:

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I hate the heat, so I do love living in a city with free air-conditioning!


Everything is built to hold snow, but we’ve gotten a lot of very heavy snow in a short period, and it keeps coming! :grimacing:
I’ve lived here for decades, and I don’t recall a single roof collapsing under snow, other than some old-ass garage or barn that was already leaning.