Cows escaped serious injury when barn addition roof fell

By Brian Sweeney
The good news from last week’s historic snowstorm was that the predicted high winds never materialized. As a result, the broken trees and power outages that many had feared, were minimal.
The most formidable wreckage from the storm came in the form of collapsed buildings, particularly barns. Reports of destroyed barns and other outbuildings were widespread.
On county Route 6 in New Kingston, a section of a barn roof caved in at the Robert Oravetz farm. The falling roof injured three yearlings and a heifer, Mr. Oravetz said, but 17 cows in the back section were unharmed.
Fortunately, the roof (about a 50-foot section) did not crash all the way to the floor.
“If the tie rail wasn’t there, the cows would have all gotten crushed,” he pointed out.
Mr. Oravetz said 35 milk cows in the main section of the barn were not threatened by the damage.
Ironically, Mr. Oravetz said the section of roof that fell covered the newest section of barn, built only about 12 years ago. He attributed the collape to rusted plates on the trusses that apparently weakened the structure.
Mr. Oravetz said he and his wife were tending to another farm that they run on nearby Weaver Hollow when the roof failure occurred. They were notified of the problem by a neighbor.
He said the cows kept in the addition have been moved to a farm in Andes until repairs can be made to the barn.