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Another roof collapses in Alberta

Slips and trips are common accidents when clearning snow from rooftops
Slips and trips are common accidents when clearning snow from rooftops

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

January 27, 2011 — Heavy snow that has been piling up in the Edmonton area, has proved to be too much for certain buildings.

Snow accumulates easily on flat roofs like barns
Snow accumulates easily on flat roofs like barns

For the third time in less than a week, a roof collapsed in the Edmonton area early Wednesday morning.

Accumulating snow on the roof of The Brick furniture store in Leduc partially caved in due to the pressure. There were no reports of injuries.

On Tuesday, a similar thing happened when a group of amateur musicians were rehearsing at the Northgate Lions Seniors Recreation Centre. Everyone managed to escape safely before the roof collapsed in the early afternoon hours. Fire officials say the musicians heard creaking from the roof above and fled the building when debris started to fall. Several checks were conducted to ensure that no one was left inside.

And last Friday, a man and his son fled an automotive shop in Spruce Grove before the snow-covered roof caved in.

City officials have been busy examining buildings with large, flat roofs in Edmonton as they're more prone to a collapse because the snow easily accumulates. Safety crews recommend removing heavy snow from rooftops when it first begins to pile up because as more snow falls throughout the winter months, the pressure increases on the building.

Rising temperatures can begin to pose their own risks as well. The city of Edmonton saw a daytime high of 8°C on Thursday, the warmest it's been for several weeks. “And when temperatures are warmer, the snow density increases,” says Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

“There's water in the snow melt, which actually makes the large piles of snow heavier,” says Vettese.

To find out what the rest of the winter season will bring your way, check out the mid-winter update. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV as the National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of each hour.

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