Copper River Seafoods has begun assessment of damage from heavy snowfall to the roof of one of its buildings in Cordova, which houses 20 boats and associated fishermen’s lockers, valued at more than $2 million.
The roof of the two-story building collapsed on Jan. 6, in the wake of a snowstorm so severe that the Alaska National Guard is now on the scene helping residents shovel out.
Although Cordova residents are used to heavy snowfall, so much snow fell in early January that residents say they are running out of places to put it.
Copper River Seafoods officials say they have not yet determined the extent of damages, or whether there was impact to the first floor, where boats are stored.
“Our first concern, is, of course, the safety of those in our community of Cordova”, said Scott Blake, company president. “Beyond the safety of the community, we are making every effort to recover the fishing fleet that is staged over the winter in our facility.”
Copper River Seafoods has dispatched equipment to Cordova, including aluminum shovels custom made for this particular snow situation, a snow blower, a 40,000 pound front end loader and a 12-yard dump truck. Company employees are working to clear snow from around the fish processing company’s facilities on the waterfront.
Company employees were also making assessments on each and every piece of equipment in storage. Pip Fillingham, a Cordova resident and one of the company owners, is on site overseeing the cleanup and assessment.
The affected building is adjacent to the main seafood processing facility. It is a 7,000 square foot metal construction building erected in the late 1970’s.
While, weather officials forecast more snow for the area, Copper River Seafoods is moving equipment and staff to Cordova to secure the area and protect the fishing fleet in a situation of very challenging weather conditions, company officials said on Jan. 10.