Video captures dramatic moment Metrodome collapsed
Collapse forces cancellation of Vikings-New York giants game
Roads closed across five states as 20inches of snow falls
State of emergency declared in Wisconsin 'as a precaution'
Delta cancels all flights into Minneapolis
The giant inflatable roof above the Minneapolis Metrodome collapsed yesterday under the weight of a massive snowstorm that swept across the Midwest.
Stadium staff watched in horror as the 580,000lbs roof, which is made of Teflon-coated fibreglass and supported by twenty 90-horsepower fans, slowly fell in - just hours before Minnesota Vikings were due to play the New York Giants.
No one was hurt but the dramatic incident - captured on video - forced the National Football League to shift the game to Monday night at Detroit's Ford Field.
Snow fall: The Metrodome's roof collapsed after 20 inches of snow hit Minneapolis
Before and after: The inflatable roof of the metrodome collapsed today
Icy pitch: Tons of snow fell through the roof and covered half the field meaning the Minnesota Vikings may not be able to play until Tuesday
Caught on camera: An incredible video captures the moment a build-up of snow forced the inflatable roof of the Minneapolis Metrodome to collapse
MSFC director of facilities and engineering Steve Maki said: 'This just came very fast. It was heavily loaded, and the wind was just unbelievable.' Bill Lester, the MSFC's executive director, added: 'There were no injuries, which we're thankful for.'
Meanwhile a team of people from the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission has been working to clear the snow from the Metrodome. It was not the first time the stadium's roof has failed. It deflated in 1981, 1982 and 1983 due to heavy snowfall. The instability of the roof could be why the Vikings has been lobbying for a new home building for the past ten years. Next season is the final year of their tenancy at the Metrodome.
Blizzard: Pedestrians make their way to a Minnesota college basketball game in a snowstorm yesterday
The snowstorm which broke the stadium's roof was expected to be followed by dangerously cold conditions - North Dakota had experienced wind chills of -16C.
Roads were closed across five states as 20 inches of snow - or half a metre - fell across the upper Midwest in the U.S. yesterday.
The Chicago Department of Aviation said more than 900 flights were canceled at O'Hare airport and another 250 at Midway airport.
Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle declared a state of emergency for the state's 72 counties as a precaution, calling the National Guard to active duty to help local authorities.
'Conditions continue to deteriorate and it is becoming critically important for vehicles to stay off the roadways," Wisconsin State Patrol Superintendent David Collins said.
Eastern Minnesota's Oakdale area got 20 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm was moving east and it had dumped about a foot of snow - 30 centimetres - in Chippewa County in northwestern Wisconsin and 24 inches of the white stuff - 61 centimetres - were expected to fall by Sunday morning in the Eau Claire area.
Amrita Mukherjee, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, said: 'It's looking very frightening. Since morning, it's been snowing heavily and the wind is really strong. And each hour, it's getting even worse.'
Lisa McGrath was shovelling her front walk in southeast Minneapolis, but knew she'd likely have to do it again in a few hours.
At a standstill: A man tries to help move a car on an icy street in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Chilly: Shoppers walk to an electronics store amid blowing snow, in Omaha, Nebraska, yesterday
'It's good exercise - the only exercise I'm going to get today,' she said as she hoisted the shovel.
The State Patrol said there had been 76 crashes reported statewide, but there were no serious injuries. An additional 319 reports of vehicles sliding off roads had been received by the control room.
Wisconsin authorities issued a statewide no-travel advisory because of blizzards and winter storms in nearly every county.
Flyers with Delta, United, U.S. Airways and Continental had all been told they could change their flights without penalty because of the conditions.
Delta had cancelled all flights into Minneapolis because of snow on the runways.
Meanwhile, small riverside towns in Washington and areas of Portland, Oregon, were expected to flood as six inches of rain - 15 centimetres - was forecasted to fall across the Pacific Northwest.
Freezing: A pedestrian uses plastic bags for boots as he walks down a street during a snowstorm in Minneapolis
Transportation managers said on Saturday that mudslides caused by the storms forced the suspension of Amtrak service between Portland and Seattle until Monday.
Portland officials warned residents in flood-prone areas such as the Johnson Creek watershed to be prepared to evacuate.
The tributary empties in the Willamette River south of downtown Portland.
The National Weather Service also expects the Chahalis, Snohomish and Snoqualmie rivers in Washington state to reach flood stage. Forecasters say flooding is likely to be widespread.