By Esme Murphy

By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s the video people just can’t seem to get enough of — Fox Sports cameras were rolling as the snow became just too much for the Metrodome as the roof collapsed under the weight.

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So how quickly will the Dome be fixed and will it be ready for next Monday night’s Minnesota Vikings game against the Chicago Bears?

 

The quick answer is officials don’t know yet how long it’s going to take to fix the Dome because the company will do the repairs just arrived on the scene from New York.

 

As of Monday evening, clean-up hadn’t even started. Not even the snow has been scraped off the Dome floor because officials say it is just too dangerous. Through the roof you can see massive plies of snow gathered buckling the remaining panels. Bird Air, the repair company, is expected to provide a timeline sometime Tuesday.

 

Company officials from Bird Air, including the lead project engineer and a few others from other company divisions, toured the Metrodome late Monday afternoon. They spent about a half-hour on the field and in the stands, taking a closer look at the each of those tears in the roof.

 

They’ve got two options. One of them is to replace each of those ripped pieces. The other one would involve something like ironing, where new Teflon patches would be melted onto the old ones to form a seamless piece, according to a spokesperson for the Dome.

 

The spectacular video of the collapse has helped provide clues as to what happened. At about 5 a.m. Sunday a side panel on the edge of the Dome blew out. That deflated the Dome, then most of the snow was funneled to one point and the giant tear happened.

 

Dome officials are optimistic they will be ready for next Monday’s game. But sources tell WCCO that knows one’s really sure about that.

 

If the Dome’s not the destination, TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota could be. Sources tell WCCO that it’ll take up to $700,000 to remove the snow and get the place ready for the game. Stadium officials need to know by Tuesday morning if they’ll host the game. The word is that the NFL wants the game to be played in the Twin Cities, so the stadium’s the only other option.

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“What makes you think this will be ready because right now it looks terrible?” WCCO’s Esme Murphy asked Roy Terwilliger with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.

 

“Past experience there’s been a couple of other deflations and they’ve come into repair that. They’re not as extensive as this,” said Terwilliger.

 

Dome officials admit the past 36 hours have not been productive.

 

“When everything happens on a Sunday morning, trying to gather labor and materials, mobilize that is always a difficult thing. The only thing that could have been worse would have been Christmas Eve morning or something like that,” said Steve Maki with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.

 

One thing clean-up crews will have to deal with when they start to work on the Dome is the temperature. It’s just as cold inside the Dome as it is outside.

 

The last time the roof collapsed was during a spring snowstorm. That collapse postponed a Twins game with California, but the repair was made within a few days.

 

WCCO-TV meteorologist Mike Augustyniak did the math, calculating how much the snow weighed on the roof — he estimates 2.7 million pounds of snow could have sat on the roof, not taking into account blowing or drifting snow.

 

WCCO-TV’s James Schugel Reports

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WCCO-TV’s Esme Murphy Reports

Esme Murphy