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Winter storm watch raises new safety concerns

roof collapse

This roof collapsed on a storage building in Shaffer Estates this past week. Kent County Emergency Management is asking people to be aware that this next round of snow this weekend will be heavy with water and may cause your roof to collapse if you have a buildup. Courtesy photo.

A Winter Storm Watch has been issued through 10 p.m. Saturday and the forecast calls for another six inches of snow, with possibly more in some areas. Kent County Emergency Management is encouraging residents to stay home if possible during this storm period.

“We advise anyone who plans on heading out this Saturday to rethink their plans,” says Jack Stewart, Kent County Emergency Management Coordinator.

“Heavy snow is in the forecast, and driving in it could be dangerous. If you must drive, allow plenty of extra time to reach your destination. Be aware that many roads are narrow due to the amount of snow that lines our streets.” Be sure to check the parking laws and regulations in your community if parking on a street.

Those hosting events should weigh the dangers of asking people to drive, and consider cancelling events. If you must drive, there will areas where drifting snow creates road hazards. Be mindful of these areas, which are usually adjacent to open fields. Also note that some corners may have large piles of snow, making it difficult to see approaching cars. Use extreme caution when pulling out at these intersections. Keep a well-charged cell phone in the car, as well as an emergency kit and blanket within your reach.

The forecast models are calling for this winter storm to include snow with high water content. “There have been several roof collapses in the past month in Kent County,” Stewart says. “If you have a flat or low-pitched roof, or it there is a lot of snow already on your roof, you may be at increased risk of dealing with a roof collapse.” Emergency Management suggests monitoring weather conditions throughout the weekend.

Road crews will be working throughout the weekend to clear streets and highways, but we remind everyone to please be patient. And note that many communities have regulations about snow removal. “If you have neighbors who are elderly or have special needs, be sure to check on them,” Stewart adds. “If you are healthy and able, consider asking them if they would like your help in removing the snow.”

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One Response to “Winter storm watch raises new safety concerns”

  1. Carla says:

    Maybe you should of stated how old this buildings was.

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