MASON CITY, Iowa - While almost every area business has been indirectly affected by the weekend blizzard, the Plaza West location of Cost Cutters and Cosmo Prof were directly impacted as part of their roof started to cave in.
Salon Manager Brittany Hanson says that an employee at Cost Cutters was getting ready to open the store for business when she noticed ceiling tiles started to fall.
"One of my gals came in at the normal time to get the daily stuff started before they opened up, and they acknowledged that the roof caved in."
After the employee called store management, the Mason City Fire Department was called in around 9:30 a.m.
Because the store is located next to a much higher roof, there's a steep drop, and when strong winds carry snow, Hanson says it's a prime spot for it to pile up.
"We are kind of in a corner area within the building that can be a catch all for all of the snow. It just so happened that it ended up piling up and the roof caved in."
Neighboring businesses including Dollar Tree, Tobacco Outlet Plus, and Sun Tan City were also evacuated as a safety precaution. Fortunately, there were no injuries.
Fire Captain Jack Odegaard says despite all the snow this season, this is actually the first incident of its kind reported this year.
"Everything keeps blowing and then you get these monstrous drifts, and that's the big deal. It's not that we got 8 inches of snow, it's that it might be 8 inches at your house, and then 26 inches at the house next door. And then 8 foot like right here."
Hanson is appreciative of the quick response, even in very bitter temperatures.
"Got on top of things to make sure everything's OK and everybody's safe. Super appreciative."
A construction crew spent the day building a temporary brace in order to hold the roof up to prevent it from further caving, and to allow the snow to be removed.
We reached out to Noddle Companies, who owns the Plaza West shopping center, for comment, but have yet to respond.