Credit: ARIANA van den AKKER / Concord Monitor staff
Like a football team with a good ground game, a long winter can wear you down. This February, the seemingly endless series of storms that has hammered the Northeast finally scored a touchdown: a day or two of soaking rain on top of two consecutive heavy snowstorms loaded down the region's roofs. Eventually, some of them were bound to fail.
And fail they did. In York, Maine, the door framing of a two-car garage buckled and started to fall—but the building was held up by deep snowdrifts on either side, long enough for a local garage to come and rescue the two cars inside (see "Cars buried under collapsed roof 'not worth dying for'," by Susan Morse).
The York homeowner was fortunate—his cars survived, and so did he. But another situation ended in tragedy when 29-year-old Jenna Flaherty was killed by the collapse of a carport in Weymouth, Massachusetts. The Boston Globe has this report: ("29-year-old woman dies after carport collapses in Weymouth").
Another sad story came from Henniker, New Hampshire, where the collapse of a second story roof left a homeowner destitute, according to a report in the Concord Monitor (see: "After roof collapse, Henniker homeowner in search of help," by Iain Wilson).
"What do we do now? We have no idea where we're going to go, what we're going to do," said 65-year-old homeowner Carl Hamel. "Hamel's roof collapsed at the tail end of a week featuring significant snowfall and freezing rain, a combination that prompted state Fire Marshal William Degnan to issue a statewide alert urging residents to be mindful of their roofs," the Monitor reports. "Degnan dismissed the misconception that only flat roofs are susceptible to collapse and advised homeowners to clear roofs of excessive snow and ice as carefully as possible." New Hampshire TV station WMUR-TV posted this video report on YouTube (see: "Henniker roof collapses under heavy snow").
New Jersey experienced a rash of roof failures after the series of storms, according to a report from New York's WABC-TV 7 Eyewitness News (see: "New Jersey roof collapses blamed on heavy snow," by Toni Yates).
An apartment building roof failed in Kearny, New Jersey, leaving 16 people homeless, the station reported. The incident was just one of numerous failures in the state, including several commercial flat-roof structures and a school gymnasium.