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High winds damage Burns Truck-Stop roof, town buildings


March 03, 2010
STRATFORD — High winds on Thursday night peeled off at least half of the eight-year-old steel roof of Burns Truck-Stop and Mini-Mart on Route 3, just south of the village of North Stratford.

"I call it a 'wind-sheer," owner-operator Ted Burns explained in a Monday morning telephone interview. "It was a fluke."

Fortunately, polypropylene sheets are helping to control leaks.

"We're not open to the stars," Mr. Burns said, gratefully, noting, however, that the 30-to-35- by 40-foot garage portion of his building's two-layer steel roof had been blown onto Route 3, leaving only plywood plus some weatherproofing materials in place. The building's total size is 40 by 60 feet, he said.

The top and sides of the gasoline pump canopy, that he had installed two months ago when he switched his business' gasoline brand from Gulf to Sunoco, also blew off.

At the time of the telephone call, Mr. Burns was unsure as to how much, if any, of these losses would be covered by insurance.

"Given today's economy and cash flow problems, this is a tough time to sustain these kinds of losses," he said.

Although Mr. Burns said he believes that snowmobilers' traffic remains robust on Route 3, many of those passing by are day-tripping outdoor enthusiasts who are traveling on the tank of gas they purchased down below and are spending far less than previously in the local Cos economy.

"We're making more money from ATVs — even in winter — than from snowmobiles," said Mr. Burns, one of the founding members of the North Country ATV Club.

Mr. Burns is hoping for a burst of business this weekend since the Swift Diamond Riders' Sno-Deo draws thousands of snowmobile enthusiasts to the area. The two-day event, featuring demo rides and a chance to check out the latest offerings of Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-Doo and Yamaha, will be held on Friday and Saturday (www.nh.snodeo.com) at Coleman State Park in Stewartstown.

The historic North Stratford railroad station, now transformed into Stratford's town library, had a number of architectural shingles torn off in the high winds, according Stratford Police Chief Stewart Walling. Some water leaks on the carpeting have already been taken care of and the town's insurance carrier, the Local Government Center, was on site on Friday.

Other town buildings also sustained damage. Two bays on the highway department's old garage, used primarily to store signs and materials, were blown apart, with the roof ending up on the treeline, the chief said. The roof of the Cross Street sewer building also lifted, and, although it settled back into place, will likely also have to be replaced.

A metal and wood edge piece on the combined town office and fire station was also blown away.

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