County issues warning, recommendations related to melting snow
Crook County Emergency Management, Crook County Public Health Department, City of Prineville and Crook County Agencies are currently dealing with winter weather events in our county. The weather forecast indicates the weather will be warmer for the next few days followed by another small snow event. As it is difficult to predict the weather with exact certainty this is a precautionary notice to increase awareness early of the potential dangers including roof collapse caused by increased snow. We strongly urge all community members to start thinking now about how you will cope with snow rapidly melting causing run off.
Some of the things to start thinking about include:
Look closely at removing snow from roof tops early. Don't wait until there is so much it becomes a threat to the structure or is too heavy to remove safely. With building collapses in both Crook and Deschutes Counties the past few years, please know that community safety is our number one priority.
If you live in an area with a Homeowners Association and you are unable to or do not have the equipment to remove the snow from your rooftops we encourage you to reach out to your board and let them know you need some assistance. Connect with your neighborhood HOA now to understand what has been pre-planned in regards to snow removal on roads as well.
Unless roads and driveways are plowed / shoveled it is difficult for emergency services (Ambulance, Police, and Fire) to get in to support your needs. Emergency services need to be able to access your property and you quickly in the event of an emergency. Without clear access much needed help may be delayed.
If you do not have a homeowners association and are unable to secure a contractor please reach out to friends, neighbors and family for the assistance you need.
Know where your snow shovels are and if you don't have a roof rake, consider getting one early before the stores run out. There are several out there that are very effective, it all depends on what style of home you have and which one best fits your needs.
Know where your home is prone to ice dams and prepare early to keep an eye on those areas and act quickly if one starts to build – before it compromises your structure.
Consider having a supply of food, water and other emergency items – The state standard is 2 weeks, however we encourage everyone to maintain an emergency supply of 30 days. This includes food, water (1 gallon per person per day), prescription medications, alternate heating source, alternate cooking source and warm winter clothing (for colder temperatures). Don't forget to include your pets and your livestock in your planning of emergency supplies.
Please remember there is a risk to climbing on your roof to remove snow. So, how do you know whether to remove snow? Here's what we've learned:
Structures built in Central Oregon with building permits are designed to handle 25 pounds per square foot, which equates to about 20 inches of snow. Older structures, built before the adoption of building codes (late 1960's), may not meet this minimum standard. Manufactured homes are designed to carry 30 pounds per square foot, or about 2 feet of snow. Flat roofs are more of a concern, because they tend to hold more snow moisture. The combination of ice, ice dams, packed snow and fresh snow will place an increasing load limit on most roofs in our county.
Rainfall on top of snow can add a significant amount of weight to a roof rapidly. If the snow continues to pile up over 20-25 inches on your house, consider removing it from the roof. It is very dangerous to climb on the roof in snow conditions, please either use a snow rake from the ground or contact a licensed professional. Pay attention to where the snow will land if you choose to use a snow rake, and watch out for falling icicles.
If you are being faced with a life threatening emergency please call 911 and help will be dispatched to your location.
This information is issued on behalf of Crook County Emergency Management, Crook County Health Department, Crook County Administration and the City of Prineville.
You can sign up to receive emergency notifications through the emergency alerting network, which is managed by the Crook County Emergency Manager – you can sign up by visiting the Crook County Sheriff's website and click on the Alert Crook County icon on the main page, http://sheriff.co.crook.or.us/
You can also get up to date information through our tri-county emergency information blog at: http://coemergencyinfo.blogspot.com/