JANUARY 6, 1997
Damage attributed to exceptional snow loads caused the roof to collapse at C.O. Sorenson School in Woodinville. Flooding from melting snow and heavy rains followed, further damaging five preschool special education classrooms there.
Canterbury Square suffered widespread damage from the wet, heavy snow, which collapsed or damaged 43 carports throughout the senior community.
Photos by Jeff Switzer.
by Jeff Switzer
WOODINVILLE--The C.O Sorenson complex won't be opening for at least a week while structural engineers assess snow and flood damage to the five classrooms which house the preschool special education program there.
And a few blocks away, 43 carports at Canterbury Square collapsed entirely or were damaged due to the wet, heavy snow.
"[Canterbury Square has] high priority for permits, either over-the-counter or within one day," said Dean McKee, building official for the city.
McKee said the city understands residents needing to get structures temporarily held in place should "take care of business" and protect themselves, and the process of applying for a building permit can wait until the crisis of saving their homes has passed.
"But we need to see what you've done afterwards," he said, adding that those with concerns about damage to their homes or businesses can call the city at 489-2754. The city will send out an inspector to those with the most immediate need.
"Overall, we did well, really well, considering damage to other areas," McKee added. "We have a lot of new buildings that are all designed for 25-pound snow loads. I think we pushed that limit, though," he said.
McKee estimated the snow loads in the area may have been half again as much as the design criteria.
Sorenson complex under examination
Located at 13209 NE 175th St. behind Woodinville City Hall, the Sorenson School did not reopen for use as planned Jan. 6, as two engineering firms are currently conducting an extensive structural evaluation and analysis of the damage.
Comprehensive reports from Robert Fossatti and Associates and the Pacific Testing Laboratories will be complete within one week. Based on those findings, school officials will determine if re-occupancy is safe, decide what it will take to repair the damage, and identify contingency options for housing the students elsewhere temporarily.
"They'll be making sure there wasn't any structural stress that would put occupancy in other areas at risk," said Becky Clausen, executive director of elementary education.
School is anticipated to resume Jan. 13. Families attending the programs housed at Sorenson will receive additional information prior to that date. The famimlies were notified individually of the delayed opening.
The Sorenson complex houses the Northshore School District preschool and Head Start programs; the Shoreline Community College preschool co-op; Northshore School District Home School headquarters; and the Woodinville YMCA program.