Flooding, roof collapses next winter dangers for area
Saturday, February 15, 2014 12:01 AM
VAN WERT — Take the winter’s snow and add a warmup, and see the next weather danger for Van Wert County — flooding. The danger from falling rain and melting snow is very real according to Van Wert County Emergency Management Director Rick McCoy.
This photo shows the collapsed roof at the ROC at Delphos First Assembly of God. The roof collapsed this past Sunday due to the weight of the snow on it. Van Wert County EMA Director Rick McCoy cautioned local residents Friday about possible roof collapses due to a build up of ice and snow. (DHI File Photo)
McCoy is urging area residents to keep an eye on forecasts over the next seven days since the flooding threat will not be from rivers but in different places due to catch basins clogged with snow and ice.
Forecasts are calling for a chance of an inch of snow Saturday night followed by possible freezing rain and sleet Monday morning with the arrival of a new weather system. Precipitation should become all rain by Monday afternoon due to rising temperatures. That system could produce a half-inch of rain. Then another issue comes into play.
“As temperatures get into the 40’s and dew points rise by Wednesday, the threat of fog may become a big issue for area schools. Fog problems are likely to persist for Thursday and maybe into Friday,” noted McCoy.
By Thursday the danger of flooding increases with the possibility of one inch of rain falling along with melting snow with temperatures nearing 50 degrees.
“Ice jams remain a problem in rivers and run off of melting snow, and the total of up to an inch and a half of rain during the week will amount to the equivalent of five inches of water on frozen ground,” McCoy warned. “The big question he said is whether it stay warm and melt all of the snow releasing all of the water or will it turn colder after Thursday keeping some of the rainfall trapped in some of the snow that doesn’t melt. If the warm up continues past Thursday, serious flooding will definitely occur so future weather forecasts are being watched closely.”
McCoy also cautioned residents about snow and ice buildup on rooftops.
Snow and ice has accumulated since Jan. 16 along with an inch of rain that fell on Feb. 1 and soaked into the snow pack creating ice. Current calculations indicate that would equate to 18,728 lbs or nine tons in an area 30 by 40 feet or 1,200 square feet. Another inch of rain or more expected this upcoming week will add an additional three tons bringing the 1,200 square foot area to 12 tons. This is a sure bet for collapsing of rooftops or overhangs,” McCoy cautioned.
He also urged caution since ice on the roof increases the danger when trying to remove the buildup.
“Buildings and homes particularly at risk are those with secondary roofs where snow has slid down on top of the lower roof and piled up and has doubled the weight load,” he stated.