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Record snowfall creating risks


Not only is the big snow creating dangerous driving conditions in Red Deer but it is setting the scene for collapsed roofs, ice damming and fire hazards.

Red Deer Emergency Services acting fire marshal Wes Van Bavel said the record snowfall is causing a whole whack of issues that residents should take measures to avoid.

Van Bavel said too much snow on the roof can cause ice damming and blockage of sewer vents.

“Ice can start pushing its way through the tiles,” said Van Bavel. “Come springtime, you end up with a lot of damage to your roof underneath the tiles due to that ice that has now melted and caused a lot of water damage.”

He said ice damming is more of a problem for older homes that were not built with heel trusses that prevent heat loss because of extra insulation.

Blocked sewer vents cause the potential for slow toilet flushing and water moving down the drains.

Blocked dryer vents can also create more moisture in the home and the potential of the lint not being expelled from the house.

“Lint is a very flammable product so it is important dryers do work properly and it does vent to the outside,” said Van Bavel.

Snow-buried fire hydrants could put the safety of residents, their homes and fire crews at risk, said Van Bavel.

Crews are asking residents to clear the snow away from the hydrants on or near their property.

“We’re not asking people to do more than they need to,” said Bavel. “All we’re asking is do not throw the snow on it to begin with. Throw it to the right or left and keep it clear. There’s a concern when it’s buried there will be a time delay trying to find the hydrant.”

Only a few days ago, a Westerner Park vinyl tent roof came crashing down because of its heavy load. In Lacombe County, heavy snow caused two barn collapses in early December.

Meanwhile, the City of Red Deer has begun its second neighbourhood plow blitz this winter.

Crews will work in residential areas Monday to Saturday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. because there is less traffic and parked vehicles in the area.

All residential streets are estimated to be completed by Jan. 14. The city is posting daily progress reports at 6 p.m. on the city’s website at www.reddeer.ca, Facebook and Twitter.

crhyno@reddeeradvocate.com

 
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