Snow/rain mix collapsing rooftops, trees

Snow/rain mix collapsing rooftops, trees (PHOTO: KOMO News)

SHORELINE, Wash. — Widespread problems were triggered as the snow turned to rain Monday night. The combination put added weight onto rooftops and trees and in many cases caused them to collapse.

In Shoreline, a roof came down on an outbuilding of a nursing home and left two people hurt.

In Tacoma, several carports outside of an apartment complex gave way under the weight of the accumulated snow and rain. Nobody was hurt, which was fortunate considering how badly it crushed the vehicles underneath but there is extensive property damage.

In Lake Forest Park, officials had to shut down several sections of road as trees collapsed across them, or pulled down power lines.

“The wet snow is very heavy and that's what's breaking all the branches and knocking all the trees down, said a neighbor. “When I was at the intersection down there I saw four trees and branches across the power lines."

If the rain and wet snow continue, more trees and roofs could give out. Bothell Building Official Dave Swasey said flat roofs are most at risk and people who want to clear them should take certain safety precautions.

“Tie off to the roof anchors, wear a harness, be very safe when you do that because roofs are dangerous in the first place and then you add snow and ice and it gets even worse,” Swasey said.

For fluffy snow, weight loads can start to be a problem when it gets about 20 inches deep. However, if it's wet or soaked with rain the snow could cause things to collapse when it's much less thick.

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