Roofs collapse under weight of snow

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:10 PM EST
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TOWN OF LERAY, New York (WWNY) - The snow on the ground was tough enough for many of us, but it’s becoming a bigger issue for some when it’s on the roof.

“It was pretty devastating tracking to see your whole life underneath the snow and debris, but it’s northern New York,” said Sandy Converse.

Most of Tom and Sandy Converse’s equipment barn in the town of LeRay is now lying in a huge pile of debris.

Tom says he woke up Saturday morning to find nearly his entire barn collapsed.

“I was pretty upset when I’d seen it the first time in the morning, Saturday morning, but I had to get myself going, so we come out and work at it for the last three days digging everything out, got the stuff out,” he said.

Converse says what hurt the most was seeing the 50-year-old barn he and his father built collapse after weathering so many north country winters.

“The barn was old, but just the weight of the snow is just more than a lot of these old barns can handle. So once it went down it started breaking. It dropped, it just dropped on top of everything,” he said.

In Black River, the garage at Jess Burke’s home caved in. He just bought the house in May.

“I thought it was more structurally sound than it was,” he said.

Burke says living alone makes it hard to get all the plowing done, but this didn’t stop him from getting on his home’s roof and going at it to prevent it from caving in like his garage.

Joe Plummer, the director of Jefferson County Fire and Emergency Management, says snow on roofs is no joke.

“Here in the north country many roofs are built to withstand snow. They plan for snow loads, but this is a pretty significant amount on your roofs,” he said.

Plummer says to keep in mind that this snow is heavy and wet, so the longer it sits on the roof the more dangerous it can get. He says if you’re having a hard time getting to the snow yourself and want to prevent your roof from collapsing or caving in, make sure you hire a professional.