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Crews to inspect Metrodome this afternoon, estimate repair time

The collapsed roof of the Metrodome is shown Dec. 12 from this aerial view. The situation with the Dome has state lawmakers eyeing proposals to construct a new stadium for the Vikings. The team's Metrodome lease expires after the 2011 season. AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt

MINNEAPOLIS -- Officials with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission expect to learn this afternoon how long it will take to get the Metrodome open for business, and closed to the weather.

The original manufacturer and roof installer, Birdair Inc. of Amherst, N.Y., is scheduled to inspect the damage and devise a plan to fix the roof, which collapsed early Sunday in a snow storm that dropped 17 inches of snow on the Twin Cities.

The weight tore three holes in the dome's Teflon roof and dumped a huge pile of snow on the playing field nearly 200 feet below.

Commission chairman Roy Terwilliger says it's the fourth roof collapse since the stadium opened nearly 30 years ago, all caused by heavy snow. The previous collapses took only a few days to fix.