Icicle damages RI Convention Center roof

(Madeleine Wright, WPRI-TV)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A melting, falling icicle penetrated the roof of the Rhode Island Convention Center during the past several days of ice and snow, according to the RICC authority.

Crews blocked off part of Sabin Street Tuesday to stretch a crane and huge bucket up to the roof of the convention center, lowering accumulated snow down bucket by bucket.

Larry Lepore, the general manager for the convention center and adjacent Dunkin Donuts Center arena, said leaks and water damage were discovered on the fifth floor on Monday. Icicles had melted and fallen from a higher level, penetrating a membrane roof and allowing water in.

“It’s a rubber-membrane roof, and [the icicle] just hit it just right,” he said. The hole was only the size of a quarter. “You would think that would not be enough to cause major damage, but because there was some melting yesterday, the water found a way to get” into important areas of the building, he said.

The Lumber and Building Materials Expo is set to open Wednesday at the convention center, and Lepore said his crews are scrambling to make repairs and clean. They expect the show to go forward as scheduled.

The cost of repairs remained to be seen, Lepore said.