As yet another significant snowstorm is forecast this weekend, residents in the Merrimack Valley are being advised to guard against potential hazards from accumulating snow on roofs.
WHAV meteorologist Steve Lavoie said a storm watch is in effect for the area beginning Saturday night.
“We’ll see skies become cloudy with snow developing late in the day with a high between 20 and 25. Snow Saturday night, windy, low near 15,” he said. Wave Weather is heard every 30 minutes over WHAV.
Utility provider National Grid is asking building owners to use caution when removing snow from their roofs.
“Snow on roofs lead to water damage and, in some cases, can cause roofs to collapse. Large piles of snow under power lines can bring the tops of those mounds, which children frequently use for sledding, dangerously close to energized power lines. In both cases, the chance of being injured by coming in contact with power lines increases and snow and ice build-up on roofs can damage electric service lines running to homes and businesses,” according to a news release.
Recommended steps include keeping ladders, shovels, roof rakes and other devices clear of any lines coming from the street to the structure; if necessary, start clearing snow from the opposite end of the roof from the service point; and if unsure of how to go about clearing snow, or if your roof is particularly steep, contact a qualified roofing contractor.
National Grid is urging all building owners to be especially cautious as they work to clear their roofs by following these safety recommendations:
- Keep all ladders, shovels, roof rakes and other devices well clear of any lines coming from the street to the structure, regardless of material. In extremely wet conditions, even wood can be a conductor of electricity.
- If necessary, start clearing snow from the opposite end of the roof from the service point where electricity is delivered.
- If you are unsure of how to go about clearing snow, or if your roof is particularly steep, contact a qualified roofing contractor.
- As snow is removed from the roof, be aware of what is below that could become buried as snow hits the ground. Be especially mindful of the location of your electricity and gas meters as they could be damaged by falling snow and ice. Also, be sure to clear snow from vents for natural gas appliances. Covered or clogged vents can lead to the build-up of poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) in your building.