BARRY COUNTY, Mich. (Feb. 20, 2014) — Roofs are collapsing increasingly across West Michigan. Heavy snow and rain are to blame.
Chris Herrera and Babette Hodges home and business are under one roof. The building is one of the latest casualties.
“All of a sudden we heard a big boom. So we came out in the shop area and turned the lights on. I thought a branch had fallen on the roof, but once we turned the lights on and started looking up at the trusses, they were pulling right apart,” Herrera recalled.
He owns a Harley Davidson repair shop. It’s falling apart literally. There’s a crushed Jaguar inside his garage. Insulation and wires are exposed. Broken support structures are snapped and tilted. Debris is everywhere.
Herrera said a day after the roof started to cave, his landlord sent over four guys to shovel off the roof. While they were on top, it started to give way. They got down, and Herrera said that’s when the roof collapsed to the floor. No one was hurt.
What used to be inside is now exposed to the elements. Part of the roof fell outward on top of a classic Ford pickup truck that Herrera said he was refurbishing for his father. It’s a passion he turned into a business he built at the Middleville location over the past 6 years.
“This is our income. This is our livelihood. This is our home. So it means we pretty much lost everything we have,” Hodges said.
Babette Hodges runs a landscaping business out of the property. They’re now salvaging everything they can.
“Unfortunately, all the tools I [have] to make money with are all buried in the middle of the shop rich now, so just trying to retrieve anything i can and start over,” Herrera said.
He said seven Harley’s were pulled out before the structure fell to the floor. Herrera, Hodges and two other people live in the home. The roof area above the living space is still intact. However, residents are concerned the rest of the roof will fall at any moment.
“[The roof over the home may fall] with this rain, there’s more weight adding to the snow,” Herrera said.
The pair said they do a lot for the community, and they hope to be able to continue. They said they help the schools purchase school supplies. Also, FOX 17 did some research and found that Herrera’s shop repaired bikes for charity, for a couple of disabled veterans.
Now they’re in need of help themselves.