N.J. roof collapse claims life

    A number of rooftops in the area have succumbed to the weight of the storm’s heavy snow, slush and ice. One roof collapse proved fatal.

    [audio: 0211MPROOFS.MP3]

    53-year old James Boles was killed on Wednesday night in his Riverside, N.J., after the roof of his porch collapsed from the blizzard.

    This week’s severe weather conditions also caused roofs to collapse on a school, firehouse and barn in the state of Delaware.

    Edwin Truitt, emergency management coordinator in the Delaware County suburbs, says no roof collapses have been reported in his county. He said while overburdened roofs can be hazardous, so can homeowners’ attempts to clear snow off them.

    Truitt: I have mixed emotions about telling people to clear the snow off their roof because we don’t want them to become part of the problem. I had a situation about 10 years ago where one of our residents climbed up on his roof to remove the snow and wound up falling off the roof. So I think that’s something you should call a professional for.

    The most vulnerable homes have flat rooftops that trap slush and ice on top of the structure.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.