The upper roof surface of the Newton County Courthouse took some heavy damage during a severe storm that hit Neosho late Tuesday night.


The upper roof surface of the Newton County Courthouse took some heavy damage during a severe storm that hit Neosho late Tuesday night.

Jack Sanders, District II county commissioner, estimates the damage happened during the storm system that moved through the area about 10-10:30 p.m. Tuesday. The uppermost roof section peeled back like a tin can.

“About half of it up on top peeled back and caused the tower to come down,” Sanders said.
Emergency communication was not disrupted by the tower’s crash.

“The amazing thing is it didn’t knock their operations out,” Sanders said.

When the building was designed this roof surface was put in without a ledge or lip that other roof surfaces have which protected them from the same fate. The surface is covered with a material similar to residential asphalt shingles, but created in a long roll.

“The roof was designed to drain to the north,” said Jerry Black, District I county commissioner, “Where there was a guttering system.”

The courthouse was already scheduled to be re-roofed, but materials have not arrived yet. While Sanders says it is a good thing the damage happened before the commissioners paid for a complete re-roof job, he thinks a new roofing surface would not have sustained the same level of damage.

In the prosecutor’s office, ceiling tiles and insulation fell to the floor and the carpet is wet. The nearby men’s room lost a PVC ventilation pipe and rain flooded in.

The roof will get a temporary cover and seal until the material arrives for the roofers to start the job in earnest.

“They’ll be taking that part off, the loose part,” Sanders said.

The communication company for 911-dispatch is repositioning some of the antennas on the other towers.