Macy’s at Metcalf South is evacuated as snow weighs down roof

Worries about what deep, heavy snow might do to a flat roof forced customers and employees to evacuate an Overland Park department store Wednesday.

The Macy’s at Metcalf South Shopping Center will stay closed until maintenance workers and a structural engineer can clear the snow and make a damage assessment, Overland Park fire spokesman Jason Rhodes said.

The roof trouble does not affect the rest of the shopping center at 95th Street and Metcalf Avenue.

Macy’s employees called the Fire Department about 10 a.m. when they noticed sagging ceiling tiles.

Firefighters found about three or four feet of wet snow and told everyone to leave the two-story store while Overland Park building safety officials and a structural engineer inspected the ceiling. They think the damage is confined to one area.

All businesses, especially those with flat roofs, should look for signs of stress in their buildings after the two recent snowstorms, officials said.

House roofs are designed to hold 20 pounds of snow per square inch, and their pitch helps keep too much snow from building up. Still, homeowners should look for spots of deep snow and clear them by dragging or pushing down without stepping on the roof.

If snow buildup on your roof is causing substantial or progressive movement, or cracking or squeaking noises, you should leave, officials said.