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Snow buildup on porch roof causes collapse fatally injuring Deary woman

ROOF COLLAPSE DANGER PKG.jpg

A Deary woman died (Thursday) yesterday after her porch roof gave way. I spoke with Latah County Sheriff, Rickie Skiles, about the details of the fatal accident and how to know when the snow is too much for a structure to handle.

This season, we are no stranger to heavy snow and ice. But the conditions turned tragic Thursday at a home in Deary in Latah County.

"This lady stepped out on her porch or was coming into her house and it was just poor timing,” said Latah County Sheriff Richie Skiles. “The porch roof just collapsed.

Sheriff Rickie Skiles says the snow and ice buildup was just too heavy for the roof and it gave way. She was trapped.

"She was found by a family member that was checking on her and found her under the roof and she could not get out from under the weight,” said Sheriff Skiles.

The woman did not survive.

"It was very tragic,” said Sheriff Skiles.

Also on Thursday, in Clearwater County around 11:30, this roof collapsed at the Tri-Pro Mill. The mill is closed so luckily no one was inside or injured.

But this prompts the question……how much snow is too much for a roof to handle?

Sheriff Skiles explained that it's not always the amount of snow accumulation that causes the problem, it’s the ice that forms on top like this makes it too heavy for some structures to manage.

But shoveling snow can present its own set of dangers.

"I've actually shoveled my mother’s roof off the other day and it's pretty flat but I was still slipping around quite a bit,” said Sheriff Skiles. “So just cleats on your shoes."

And in the end, Sheriff Skiles urges everyone to look out for each other.

"Elderly people especially if you could just see if they need their roof shoveled off... just check sometimes they need help like that, and sometimes they don't,” said Sheriff Skiles. “So it you have one that's close by like that, or you know one just check and see if they need help.”

Sheriff Skiles also advises that if you plan to shovel a roof, let someone know or better yet have them be there on the ground just in case something does happen.

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