Metrodome Collapse Because Heavy Snow

The center of a snowstorm lingered Sunday over parts of Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota, where pounding snow caused the roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis to collapse, a spokesman for the Minnesota State Patrol said.

A low pressure system, pushed by heavy winds, is creating hazardous conditions in parts of the Midwest, which has been blanketed by near-whiteout conditions since the storm began Friday.

In Minneapolis, the roof of the city’s 64,000-seat football stadium caved in, its iconic dome no longer visible after more than 17 inches of snow blanketed the Twin Cities since Friday.

Workers wielding shovels could be seen clearing the roof of the heavy white stuff. Photos taken from inside the darkened stadium showed much of the field covered with snow that fell from a gaping hole in the dome.

Concerns about the stadium’s Teflon-covered inflatable dome surfaced Friday night, prompting officials to postpone a football game between the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings.

The game, originally scheduled for Sunday, was postponed until Monday night, though the NFL issued a new statement Sunday that said the dome “will not be available” Monday or Tuesday.

Roy Terwilliger, chairman of the Minneapolis Metro Sports Commission the group that oversees the Metrodome said the heavy snow and cold, high winds “was too much pressure on the dome and several panels on the Teflon roof were caused to rip.”

He added that “you can look through the tear in the roof and see the sky.”