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Rutland Regional Emergency Communication Center
Friday February 20th, 2015 :: 12:08 p.m. EST

Advisory

Serious threat of roof collapse with forecasted weekend storm. See the link for more info.

The National Weather Service is predicting a winter storm capable of producing 2-6 inches of snow on Saturday into Saturday night, as well as rain on Sunday, followed by another freeze on Monday with temperatures plummeting back to the the single digits. Rain is the most serious risk to already significant snow-loads on roofs, and poses an elevated risk of roof collapse this weekend.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and Department of Public Safety provides the following information on snow and ice removal from roofs and other areas (also available on the web http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/mema/ready-massachusetts/roof-collapse-and-storm-dain-safety-information.html):

DO

- Use a snow rake for pitched roofs (available at most hardware stores) to remove snow from your roof.

- Start from the edge and work your way into the roof.

- Try to shave the snow down to 2 or 3 inches on the roof instead of scraping the roof clean, which will risk damage to your shingles or other roof covering.

- Keep in mind that any metal tool could conduct electricity if it touches a power line.

- Plastic shovels are usually best. Metal tools may cause damage to your roof.

- Shovel snow from flat roofs throwing the snow over the side away from the building.

- Remove large icicles carefully if they're hanging over doorways and walkways. Consider knocking down icicles through windows using a broom stick.

- Wear protective headgear and goggles when performing any of these tasks.

- Consider hiring professionals to do the job. The combination of heights plus ice makes this one of the more dangerous house chores. If you choose to do the task yourself, have someone outside with you to assist.

- Keep gutters and drains clean, free of ice and snow and keep downspouts clean at ground level.

DON’T

- Unless approved by a registered professional engineer, don’t add your weight or the weight of equipment to the roof.

- Don’t use a ladder since ice tends to build up on both the rungs of the ladder and the soles of your boots.

- Don’t use electric heating devices like hair dryers or heat guns to remove snow and ice.

- Don’t use open-flame devices to remove snow and ice.

How to Recognize Problems with Roofs:

Sagging roofs
Severe roof leaks
Cracked or split wood members
Bends or ripples in supports
Cracks in walls or masonry
Sheared off screws from steel frames
Sprinkler heads that have dropped down below ceiling tiles
Doors that pop open
Doors or windows that are difficult to open
Bowed utility pipes or conduit attached at ceiling
Creaking, cracking or popping sounds

IF YOU BELIEVE THAT YOUR ROOF OR STRUCTURE IS IN DANGER OF COLLAPSE, CALL 9-1-1 so that local officials can assess your property and assist you in any way possible.

Address/Location
Rutland Regional Emergency Communication Center
240 Main St
Rutland, MA 01543

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 508-886-4033

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