PARK CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Imagine this, you walk out of a bank and see the windshield and hood of your car completely smashed in by ice and snow. That’s what happened to a Park City resident and now, with another winter storm on the way, officials advise the public to be careful.
“This year, we’ve got an abundance of snow, which is great because we’re a ski resort town,” said Capt. Phil Kirk with the Park City Police Department. “But it does come with some hazards. One of them being that sometimes, the snow and ice can fall off roofs.”
More than two weeks ago, Park City Fire District said the roof of a home in the Thaynes Canyon area collapsed because of what investigators believe was heavy snowfall. The house is uninhabitable because of the severe damage.
“The people heard loud bangs approximately 30 minutes before it happened and then another one right before it collapsed,” said Tricia Hazelrigg, Public Affairs Coordinator for Park City Fire District.
Last Friday, Capt. Kirk said falling ice and snow smashed into a car parked outside of the Wells Fargo on Kearns Boulevard, causing $5,000 in damage.
“Luckily, there wasn’t anyone in the vehicle, but had there been somebody, they could have been seriously injured,” said Capt. Kirk.
But officials said we can’t always rely on luck. Hazelrigg said homeowners and building managers should be aware of snow build-up once it starts reaching six to 12 inches.
“While there’s not a hard and fast rule as to what the right weight or amount of snow build-up should be, people should start thinking about it,” she said.
Here are some preventative tips for falling ice and snow:
- Use heat tape on your roof to help prevent build-up
- Knock down growing icicles near walkways and parking areas
- Hire a contractor to shovel snow off your roof
- Watch out for build-up near gas meters to prevent leaking and shifting (The most extreme case could cause an explosion)
While Capt. Kirk said they haven’t had any personal injuries from falling ice and snow recently, he said being observant when you’re out and about is never a bad idea.
“Some roofs are metal so you can hear falling ice or snow before it hits you,” he said. “Be aware of your surroundings. Look for thick snow build-up and big icicles.”