Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday November 22, 2014
Snow-covered Buffalo area faces risk of roof collapses, flooding
A snowfall that brought huge drifts and closed roads in the Buffalo area finally ended Friday as the looming threat of rain and higher temperatures through the weekend and beyond raised the possibility of floods and more roofs collapsing under the heavy loads.
More than 30 major roof collapses, most involving farm and flat-roof buildings, were reported overnight, officials said Friday, after snow Thursday brought the Buffalo area’s three-day total to an epic two metres or more.
The forecast called for a chance of rain on Saturday and more through Monday, along with temperatures of about 15 C.
The U.S. National Weather Service issued a flood watch for Sunday through Wednesday, and meteorologist Jon Hitchcock said there might be trouble with drainage as snow and the uncollected autumn leaves underneath blocked catch basins.
As towns and villages began preparing for potential flooding, stir-crazy homeowners — some stuck inside since Tuesday — and store employees around the region climbed onto roofs to shovel off the snow and reduce the danger of collapse.
“Five hours yesterday and that’s just the beginning,” John Normile said Friday of the effort to clear snow from the roof of his Lake View ranch-style home. He, along with his daughter and her boyfriend, had knocked about 180 cm off the back of the house and planned to be back at it for a second day.
“We’re getting really concerned about the weight of it,” Normile said. “We’ve got to do it before the rain comes.” (Source: CBC News)