Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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A sign of a bad winter

Sure, schools have been closed for so many days we’ve lost count, we’ve learned to make edible meals from the last few items left in our pantries and we’re praying that nothing else detaches from our houses before it’s all over.

But what’s the sign of a really bad winter?

The city of Fredericksburg has had to go a whole weekend without a Walmart.

The store in Central Park was closed yesterday, as workers shoveled snow off the roof, because the built-up snow and ice had pushed the weight level on the roof above its limits. Store Manager Tina Rodriguez said as many as 90 workers were moving snow–a crew from out-of-town came to help–and a team of engineers was on-site.

She said yesterday that that staff hoped to re-open the store Saturday afternoon, but today, staff are shooting for this evening, but cautioning that they don’t know for sure when they’ll be ready to re-open.

While city building code officials have monitored the process, Walmart has been acting on its own to bring its roof into compliance with its own weight standards, which are more stringent than those in the state building code.

Walmart’s actions are a sign of caution amid conditions that have caused several building problems around the area and state.

Late last week, Fredericksburg’s health department and social services office closed because the Jackson Street building that houses them was showing signs of stress. The same day, city emergency workers responded to a gas leak at Barefoot Greens on Sophia Street that resulted from a roof collapse.

Yesterday, a gymnasium roof collapsed at a Blacksburg high school. So far, area schools officials I have talked to  have said they have seen no signs of structural damage or stress as they have assessed their school buildings.

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  • tpkeller

    Early reports of “we couldn’t get enough workers in during the snow” were laughable, and the mysterious “closed due to weather conditions” signs at the front doors were not much better.

    Thanks for some honest details at last!

    People can be very understanding… when you tell them the truth.