DOVER, N.H. — While the amount of snow expected to fall this weekend remains uncertain, with forecasts of between 5 and 8 inches for the Portland area, residents are warned of letting large amounts accumulate on their roofs, especially flat ones or those with only a slight pitch.
The National Weather Service of Gray, Maine, has issued a winter storm watch that will remain in effect until 7 p.m. Sunday.
The storm blanketed states from Minnesota to Ohio earlier this week, dumping more than a foot of snow in Kansas on Thursday, forcing airports to cancel hundreds of flights and stranding motorists on highways.
“The storm itself will kind of be taking shape Saturday right along the mid-Atlantic coast and from there it’ll take a track off the coast, and it appears it will pass far enough south of our area not to have a huge impact on Down East Maine,” said Corey Bogel, National Weather Service staff meteorologist.
In New Hampshire, state police are advising drivers to limit road travel from this evening into Sunday morning to allow Department of Transportation crews to clean and treat the roads.
New Hampshire officials are urging residents to take note of their physical fitness before tackling what is expected to be much wetter and heavier snow than the powder Nemo dropped on the region two weeks ago.
“Snow accumulations are especially dangerous on flat roofed buildings, which are most susceptible to collapse,” said Perry E. Plummer, acting director of New Hampshire’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “We urge building owners or managers to monitor their buildings, ensure that roof drains are clear and to remove snow as soon as that can be safely accomplished.”
He said homeowners should also remove snow from buildings using snow rakes from the ground. If roofs need to be shoveled, that should be performed by contractors with the proper experience and insurance.
HSEM and the state Red Cross make the following recommendations for the storm:
• Clear snow from building exits, gas connections and vents.
• Stay off the roads as much as possible. If travel is necessary keep your gas tank at least half full and keep a disaster supply kit readily available in your vehicle.
If power outages occur, these recommendations are offered:
• Report the outage to your electric company.
• Stay clear of downed power lines and treat all power lines as if they are live.
• Operate portable generators at least 10 feet from buildings with the exhaust pointed away from buildings.
• Do not use outdoor heating appliances inside buildings because of the danger of carbon monoxide.
• Let water run at a trickle to keep pipes from freezing.
• Use flashlights and battery-powered lanterns for emergency lighting, not candles.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services