Good grief! More snow (lots of it) on the way

by susan on January 31, 2011

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Projected snowfall from the National Weather Service as of noon on Monday

There’s a good chance you’ve already heard the forecast of more snow to come, and there’s a good chance you share my chagrin. I love snow, but this is getting ridiculous.

The latest from the National Weather Service has us coming in at 17 inches over the course of two separate storms, one on Tuesday and the other following close on its heels on Wednesday.

Southborough Emergency Management Director of Operations Neal Aspesi said in an email to emergency personnel that there are several things to be concerned about with this series of storms. In addition to the usual hazards — dangerous driving conditions and power outages — there are the hazards that result from having so much snow already on the ground.

In particular, Aspesi said the increased weight of snow on rooftops could lead to collapse, especially on flat and wide-span roofs. The build up of snow could also clog heating system exhaust pipes and block egress from homes and buildings. The snow may also block fire hydrants and clog storm drains.

Here are some suggestions Aspesi made to help residents prepare for the next bout of snow.

  • Steps should be taken to clear snow build-up off roofs. Never clear roofs alone and take extreme safety precaution to prevent from falling. The use of a professional is highly recommended.
  • Shovel a large area out around all heating system exterior vents, even if you have in the past as snow may have re-accumulated. Ensure that you have working carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Shovel out at least two egresses from buildings in the event people need to evacuate. Clearing all egresses is ideal. Again, check egresses even if you have shoveled in the past.
  • Continue to shovel out local fire hydrants.
  • Clear out street and house drains to reduce flooding from snow melt.
  • If power is lost, keep away from all downed power lines.  If heat is lost and sheltering is needed please reach out to SEMA (508-485-3235) or 9-1-1.

What are you most worried about with the coming storm? Snow on your roof? Ice dams? Impassable sidewalks? Navigating roads narrowed and intersections obscured by snow banks? What are you doing to prepare? Share your thoughts in the comments.

1 JD January 31, 2011 at 9:29 PM

We have an 40+ year-old home and an old furnace, and I am embarrassed to admit I don’t know much about the venting system. My husband says we are ok but I am still worried about carbon monoxide. I’m glad we have a couple detectors.

Also? I’m worried about losing my sanity while being stuck in the house with small children. For two days in a row. Again. Arrrrrgghhhhh!

2 Debbie February 1, 2011 at 8:45 AM

My neighborhood often enjoys informal “pot-lucks” in circumstances like these.

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