National Spinning roof section collapses

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, January 29, 2014

MIKE VOSS | DAILY NEWS WEIGHTY SITUATION: The section of collapsed roof at the National Spinning complex is at or close to this section of the facility. The view is from the east side of the complex near the City of Washington’s wastewater-treatment plant.

WEIGHTY SITUATION: The section of collapsed roof at the National Spinning complex is at or close to this section of the facility. The view is from the east side of the complex near the City of Washington’s wastewater-treatment plant.

A roof collapse at part of the National Spinning complex in Washington likely was caused by an accumulation of ice and snow, according to Washington officials.

Because the plant was closed, no one was injured as a result of the collapse, according to city emergency-response personnel. The section of collapsed roof was about 150 feet by 50 feet, according to emergency-response officials.

The collapse, which occurred about 5:30 a.m., ruptured pipes that provide water to the complex’s fire-suppression sprinkler system, resulting in an extensive flow of water into the area of the roof collapse. That resulted in the shutdown of water supply lines to the complex, according to Robbie Rose, chief of the Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS Department.

“Right now, basically, I know they’ve got water shut off to the building,” Rose said early Wednesday morning just before driving to the site. “R.M. (Flowers, a Washington fire captain) said a substantial section of the roof had collapsed.”

Asked if the accumulated weight of the ice and snow from the winter storm caused the collapse or was a factor in the collapse, Rose said, “That’s what it sounds like. If it’s back there where I’m thinking it is, that’s one of the original sections of the building — the old dye house, from what it sounds like.”

The National Spinning complex houses National Spinning operations, Spinrite operations and the Hampton Art corporate offices. The collapsed roof could not be seen from access roads around the National Spinning complex.

Attempts to reach National Spinning officials were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Tideland Electric Membership Corp. experienced problems Wednesday as it tried to restore power to Ocracoke Island.

At 5:34 a.m. Wednesday, power to Ocracoke Island was lost, according to Heidi Jernigan Smith, manager of economic development, marketing and corporate communications for Tideland Electric Membership Corp.

“We have verified that it is not a transmission line outage so island crews are working now to identify the cause of the outage. Approximately 1,293 consumers are affected by this outage,” Smith wrote in an email sent at 6:05 a.m. Wednesday.

Power was first restored to the parts of the island by 10:10 a.m. Wednesday.

“Tideland Electric Membership Corporation crews and contractors initially restored power to Ocracoke Island at 10:10 a.m. The outage, which affected 1,300 consumers, began at 5:34 a.m. when galloping lines broke a crossarm structure on the northernmost end of the island. In addition to the broken crossarm, crews found six downed spans of wire. Power went back out on the island at 10:26 a.m. due to unusually high loads on the electric system. Therefore, co-op personnel sought to reduce the load and brought back up half of the island’s electric system at 10:48 a.m. As the electric load continued to grow, Tideland EMC asked for immediate emergency energy conservation efforts on the island and Hyde County officials issued a reverse 911 call to island residents. After the electric load normalized Tideland crews were able to restore power to the rest of the island at 12:25 p.m.,” Smith wrote in a subsequent email.

Around 2 p.m., power to the island was lost again.

“Due to galloping lines which occurs when ice forms on power lines and is accompanied by strong or gusting winds, another crossarm has now broken on Tideland EMC’s system north of Ocracoke village. Crews are working to make repairs as quickly as possible. This comes on the heels of nearly day long power outages that started at 5:30 (Wednesday) morning when another crossarm broke bringing down six spans of overhead wire,” read an email from Smith explaining the second outage.

Tideland EMC serves parts or all of the following counties: Beaufort, Hyde, Dare, Craven and Washington.

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, there were no reported power outages in the Washington Electric Utilities service area.

While the winter storm resulted in many area businesses closing Wednesday, La Bella Slices and Ices in downtown Washington was open, serving a limited menu that included pizza, sub sandwiches and bottled sodas and water.

“Yeah, we’re the only one open. My son and I are the only ones working here. I’ve got one customer, and he’s getting a (pizza) pie,” said owner John LoGelfo at noon Wednesday.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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