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Heavy, wet snow causes many roofs to collapse

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 14 2014 09:35:41 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 14 2014 10:32:58 PM CST

The heavy wet snow is wreaking havoc across Berks County. The roofs of three barns, a storage shed and an old ice skating rink all collapsed on Friday.

AMITY TWP., Pa. -

The heavy wet snow is wreaking havoc across Berks County. The roofs of three barns, a storage shed and an old ice skating rink all collapsed on Friday.

The first to see major damage was a barn on Bieber Lane in Amity Township. It had two horses inside.

"I am kind of surprised that that barn went. But with the incredible amount of snow we had and still may have tonight," said Kaye Fox in Amity Township.

The owner tells us the barn is at least 100 years old and the roof was about 50 years old. He believes it just could not hold the weight of the snow.

"I cannot imagine what else it would be. I mean the roof has been here as long as we have been here. Why did it come down last night. We had a lot of snow," said the barn owner Ed Sauer.

It was also a familiar scene at this barn on Weavertown Road in Amity Township, as well as the former Starlight Skating Rink on Vinemont Road in Spring Township and a storage shed along Rt. 724 in Union Township.

No one was injured in any of these collapses, but the fire department says it is important to take extra precaution.

"This can kill you, it can kill you very quickly, it can injure you, it can damage your property," said Reading Fire Marshal Todd Iaeger.

The Fire Marshal suggests clearing the snow off your roof especially if it is a flat roof. Also pay close attention to the sights and sounds such as creaking, sagging or dripping.

"You want to make sure your gutters are really clear. When it starts to melt you want to give it that avenue to get away from the roof and away from the house," said Iaeger.

Now the Fire Marshal says if you have a sloped roof consider hiring a professional. He says look for a roof contractor, make sure they are licensed and specialize in that work.