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After Nashua Roof Collapse, Officials Advise Residents To Rake Roofs

Scott Hamlin via Flickr CC

Residents in 30 apartments had to evacuate a large complex in Nashua Tuesday night when part of a roof collapsed from heavy snow. No injuries were reported, but city officials are urging resident and building owners to monitor the snow loads on their roofs to prevent further incidents.

The storms from the last two weeks dropped close to four feet of snow in the Nashua region. And that creates safety risks for drivers, walkers and homeowners.

Heavy snow caused a roof collapse in a Nashua apartment building.

William McKinney is a building official for the city. He says if people don’t pay attention to their roofs, collapses like the one from Tuesday night could become a common occurrence.

The snow may seem light and fluffy.  

But the wind has moved it around now. And it’s actually densely packed. Snow has shifted from one part of the roof to the other. Roofs typically aren’t designed to handle those unbalanced loads. They’re designed for weight to be spread out uniformly across them.

McKinney also cautions people not to go up on their roofs, but to remove the snow from the ground with a rake.

And with more snow in the forecast for later in the week, he says now is the time to take care of it. 

Sheryl Rich-Kern has been contributing stories for NHPR since 2006, covering education, social services, business, health care and an occasional quirky yarn that epitomizes life in New Hampshire. Sherylâââ
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