The Daily News of Newburyport
The city's building department has issued the following emergency alert regarding snow loads on roofs.
With the previous snow accumulations and the forecast of more snow (Approximately
two feet) for Tuesday, Wednesday and more forecast later this week, the load (weight) on
roofs may increase to a dangerous level. Buildings with flat roofs are especially
vulnerable to collapse under these conditions.
The danger of roof overload is increased significantly where a flat roof abuts a pitched
roof of higher elevation. Snow may slide off the pitched roof onto the lower flat roof,
significantly increasing the snow load on the lower roof. Should a moderate to heavy
rainfall occur before significant melting, the danger of roof overload or collapse increases
To guard against problems, the Newburyport Building Department recommends the
· Inspect flat roof surfaces and remove as much snow as possible being careful not
to damage roof covering (especially important with rubber membrane roof
· Clear drains from flat roof to allow water to run off.
· Check inside buildings for any indication of roof weakness, i.e. settling of
ceilings, broken structural elements, leaks, etc.
· If you even suspect a problem, contact the Building Department or Fire
Department for assistance. Building Department Tel. # (978) 4654405,
Department Tel. # (978) 4654427...
In the event you or the Building Commissioner/Fire Department has doubts about roof
integrity, evacuate the area until the situation can be analyzed.