WESTFIELD, NJ — There has been a partial roof collapse at Trader Joe’s, located at 155 Elm St. in Downtown Westfield, Westfield Police Chief David Wayman confirmed just before 3 p.m. Saturday. According to a report received at about 6 p.m. the outer walls of the building were bowing and cracking and officials were concerned that full collapse was possible.
The store was closed for the storm and it did not appear that anyone was injured, sources said. First responders and workers faced difficult conditions during Westfield’s ongoing snowstorm.
According to an announcement by Mayor Andy Skibitsky via the town of Westfield’s website, Elm Street and Prospect Street in the area surrounding Trader Joe’s was completely blocked off as the building experienced “a major roof collapse apparently due to the structural stress of the heavy winds and the weight of the snow.”
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According to reports, there was a water leak and the grocery store’s water was being shut off, while PSE&G had been called to shut off power to the building. However, because an exterior wall was in danger of collapsing, all people were told to move away from the building.
Fire departments from multiple towns were on the scene, as well as the Westfield Police Department and the Westfield Department of Public Works.
According to Mayor Skibitksky, it is likely that Prospect Street and Elm Street in this vicinity will remain closed beyond the conclusion of the blizzard conditions as the full extent of the damage to the building is determined and the cleanup of external debris is completed.
Editor's Note: This story was last updated at 7:34 p.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2016.