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Wet, Heavy Snow Can Cause Roof Collapse


NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- While the sky waits to open up outside, with each brush stroke on his canvas, Ralph Fowler waits patiently inside.

"There's no use worrying about something you can't do anything about," says Fowler.

Homes in Nicholas County got hit with well over a foot of snow Wednesday and they're expected to get another six inches Friday into Saturday.

However, while snow is common, conditions this winter are different.

"It hasn't been as heavy as some of the previous years," said Fowler.

Snow falling at 30 degrees is much different than snow falling at zero. The recent cold stretches have meant a dryer, lighter snow.

What causes roofs to collapse is not how much snow we get, but what kind. With the warmer temperatures, snow right is very wet, meaning it weighs a lot more.

Still, Fowler remembers just a year and a half ago.

"We had three structures collapse around here," said Fowler. "I had an addition I built on my wood shop; it collapsed."

With this new round expected to come with degrees in the 20's, Fowler knows what to listen for.

"You can hear the roof popping when it gets too heavy," said Fowler.

That popping is a sure sign that he and others better get up and brush it off before disaster strikes again.


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