Farmer loses 27 cows from heavy snow roof collapse

HARRIS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - A tarp and a pulley system.

This make shift door is just one of many adjustments John Jorasz has had to make since three of his 27 farm buildings collapsed due to the weight of the snow.

"My boys were about 50 feet away when they heard it come down," said Jorasz.

The worst of the three collapses happened at the free stall barn, trapping 64 cows.

"They saved most of them, but there’s 27 that didn’t make it."

In true Yooper fashion, around 40 community members where there within the hour to help. People came with log trucks, vets stopped by and the fire department offered assistance.

"We were fortunate that we had so much help, so that we can get this barn partially cleaned up, so we can still utilize what’s left of it."

Jorasz estimates there was about $100,000 in damage to free stall barn alone. Now, just 11 days after the cave in, Jorasz is looking ahead to rebuilding and then replacing cattle.

"But that all takes time and Mother Nature hasn’t exactly cooperated the best, so hopefully in a couple of months we can get this particular building rebuilt and back in full operation."

The Jorasz Farm also saw damages to two other buildings resulting in hay, equipment and cattle loss.

Jorasz is attributing the cave-ins to not just this winter’s heavy snow fall, but the lack of winter thaws.

"Snow usually slides off these metal roofs, but being that we got rain and we never really had any warm days, the snow just kept adding up."

Jorasz says they’ve been shoveling four hours every day since February to keep up.

"We thought we started plenty early, I didn't ever dream that there was that much weight up there."

Jorasz Farm is using their collapses to remind the public to shovel their roofs and to help others who can’t.

"Shovel the eves first and work your way up to the peak. Don’t start on the top and come down because you don’t know how much your roof can take."

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