PARK CITY (ABC4) — Homeowners in Utah are urged to look out for signs of structural stress as recent winter storms brought unprecedented snowfall totals to the state.
Park City Fire District has been actively responding to home collapses throughout the week. On Monday alone, firefighters responded to three reports of home collapse. The third incident happened on Park Ave., where a reportedly abandoned home had collapsed due to a heavy snow load on the roof. The collapse triggered a gas leak, and residents around the block had to be evacuated.
“Please be aware of roof avalanches. Don’t take chances, keep your home and surroundings safe by clearing away the snow and ice accumulation,” said Fire Chief Pete Emery.
Signs of structural stress include any new and obvious sagging, bowing or cracks of interior walls, and audible breaking and cracking sounds, according to Park City Fire District.
“We encourage homeowners to hire professional contractors to address and mitigate any concerns they might have and discourage folks from climbing onto their roofs to remove snow due to the inherent fall risk,” officials said.
Another roof of a garage in Pinebrook collapsed on Wednesday around 3:30 p.m. under significant amounts of snow accumulation. Fortunately, Park City officials say no one was home at the time of the collapse, and all utilities had been shut off.
The snow load for roofs varies across Utah. Most areas in the state reportedly are required to have a roof snow load of 30 pounds of snow per square foot. Park City officials say 12 inches of dry snow equals to five to six pounds per square foot while three inches of wet snow equals to about 5 pounds per square foot.
A month ago, the roof of a treatment facility in Cache County collapsed, leaving about 30 individuals displaced.