Invercargill snow relentless

  • 19/09/2010

By Annabelle Jackman

The snow just keeps on falling in Invercargill, and a second building has collapsed under the pressure.

Yesterday, the roof of Stadium Southland caved in - today it was the turn of a paint shop, and there are fears that other buildings may follow.

Snow has not fallen this heavily in Southland in 15 years.

It has wreaked havoc on buildings around Invercargill, a paint store falling victim to the snow's weight.

"Just the snow build up on the roof, the roof hasn't taken it structurally and it's collapsed," says Peter Twiggs, senior station officer Invercargill fire service.

It's the second structure in as many days to suffer irreparable damage due to heavy snow.

Stadium Southland, a multi-million-dollar building was reduced to little more than twisted metal and crumpled concrete.

With more snow falling throughout the day, fears grew for other flat-rooved buildings around the city.

The New World supermarket was just one of many forced to close its doors early.

"We have had buildings at risk, identified as, and we've had to evacuate a number of buildings that have been put at risk by the fire service in their assessments," says Snr Sgt Maggie Windle of Southland police.

And it seems those risks may be far from over.

"We're keeping a very close eye on the situation at the moment," says Neil Cruickshank, Civil Defence manager.

"We're getting snow showers through, but there is a bit of snow melt going on, but we're expecting more for the next day or two so we're certainly not out of the woods yet."

Mr Cruickshank says the situation will continue to be assessed, but a decision on whether those closed buildings will be open for business in the morning can't be made until he's seen what tonight brings.

It wasn't just buildings struggling in the snow today - vehicles had problems too..

Civil Defence and the Ministry of Education have left it up to individual schools to make a decision on whether to open tomorrow morning, but are urging them to err on the side of caution.

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source: newshub archive