State warns of roof collapse dangers with rain on way

snowplow
Snow and rain do not make a happy roof.

As if Bay Staters haven’t had enough to deal with this winter, state officials are warning people about the danger of roof collapses.

Rain is in the forecast for Thursday night and Friday, which will increase the weight of the inches of snow that has piled up on countless rooftops around the state.

“With the addition of rain in the immediate forecast, dry, fluffy snow piled on roofs can act as a sponge, absorbing any additional sleet and rain, adding weight and stress to structures if not cleared,” said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Kurt Schwartz.

The most recent incident of a structure collapse occurred Wednesday when two cows died and eight more were injured when a Framingham barn collapsed.

So far this winter, Boston has recorded 56 inches of snow, which is about 25 inches above normal, according to the National Weather Service.

The state emergency agency said flat-topped commercial buildings are most susceptible to roof collapse.

Residents and business owners are urged to remove snow from roofs if it can be done safely from the ground with a snow rake. Also, be on the alert for accumulating snow buildup or snowdrifts on roofs, particularly roofs that are flat or only have a slight pitch, as on garages, car ports or porches. And the agency said to clear ice dams and storm drains to let water escape.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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