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Roof collapses on Tumalo youth ranch arena

No one hurt but close call: 'Dang, we're so lucky'

Ranch's roof collapses

TUMALO, Ore. - Along with problems on the roads, the weight of all the snow that's fallen lately on Central Oregon has caused some large roofs to collapse.

Just north of Tumalo is Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, which got a bit more snow than one of its buildings could handle. The roof of a barn on the property collapsed Sunday after a few feet of snow accumulated on it.

One of the ranch workers said Monday he could hear from his house nearby what sounded like an explosion and saw a large plume of dust rising up.

That was the roof succumbing to the weight of the snow, crushing thousands of dollars worth of trucks, tractors and other farming equipment. Some people in the area were lucky enough to just miss being under it.

"Twenty minutes before it went down, Harold, one of my guys, had came down, got a little tractor, moved some snow, put it back," said the ranch's founder and CEO Troy Meeder. "And Jeff, one of my -- man, they're all so dear to me -- and his 2-year old son, Peter, my adopted grandson, were heading in (the barn) to get the big tractor and go move snow. And they were putting their snow gear on -- and it went down between those two events."

The building itself is insured, but the concern now is how much of the equipment inside they'll be able to salvage. Much of it is still buried.

As for what's next, Meeder said all he can do is rebuild.

"We're going to look at the footprint and see if we can rebuild again just like it was," he said. "Hopefully, maybe a stronger roof."

For now, Meeder is just thankful it was only material objects that were buried in the wreckage.

"Twisted metal, wood -- you know, God can replace that," he said. "But people? Dang, we're so lucky."

To learn more about the ranch's work, visit http://www.crystalpeaksyouthranch.org/


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