West Haven roof collapse

WTNH/Kent Pierce

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– The recent rain is only adding to the weight of the snow, making it harder to shovel and posing a danger to rooftops.

News 8’s Kent Pierce shows the damage that heavy snow can do.

With more rain coming, this is the perfect time to clear off the snow from roofs and gutters. If you do not, your home or business may wind up in a situation similar to the roof collapse of this West Haven building.

The building on Water Street and West Haven collapsed about 24 ours ago. It is a fairly old building of wood construction. What happened is not necessarily damage done by weight of all of this snow, but they have had an excavator tearing it down for last half hour.

The building partially collapsed around noon on Wednesday. The fire department said that there was no saving it, which is why it is being torn down on Thursday.

The former owner of the building said that it was used to manufacture parts for guns in the Vietnam War. It had some pre-existing leaks in the roof, which perhaps weakened it and led to an inability to withstand the weight of the snow.

This event is a reminder to everyone that now is a good time to make sure that your home or business stays safe.

“Today, with the weather the way it is, we’re getting melt off. But, the problem is the ice damming that’s on the roofs right now. The drains are iced up, the water will melt, it will still stay on the roof and with the rain coming tomorrow we will have a further problem with it. So, I would suggest that if you do have the snow on the roof, to be able to get it off,” said Deputy Chief Schott Shwartz, West Haven Fire Department.

Across the street is a sturdier brick building with a man who shoveled snow off of the roof by hand for more than three hours. There seems to be tons of snow constituting the piles below the building, several tons of which the roof no longer needs to support.

Friday’s rain will just make this snow heavier, especially if there is nowhere for it to go. The snow and ice is creating dams on the roof, so be sure to safely clear out the gutters and give the rain a place to go.

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