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Watch out for roofalanches!

Heavy slabs of snow slide off a roof in the Sunpeak subdivision in Summit County on Thursday, January 6, 2022

Recent wet, heavy snow followed by warmer temperatures create hazards around buildings

These days, dangerous snow conditions aren’t just in the backcountry or on the roads.  They can also be on your roof. Avalanche experts call them "roofalanches" - big slabs of snow sliding off steep roofs. Recent snowfall with high water content leads to heavy snow piles on top of buildings. And when the sun comes out and temperatures warm up, those piles start to slide.

Greg Gagne is a forecaster with the Utah Avalanche Center. He said Friday that Utah normally sees snow slides off of roofs in March, and it's unusual to see such heavy slides this early in the season and people need to be careful. “Any of you who may have kids for example who’d be perhaps be playing underneath a steep roof with snow on top, definitely don’t do that," he said.

That goes for household pets, too. When you let them outside, make sure they don’t hang out underneath a steep roof with a large snow load. And be mindful of where you park your car. When you get out, look up. If you parked underneath a roof overhang and there’s snow on it, you may want to consider finding another parking spot.

Renai Bodley Miller became General Manager of KPCW in June, 2017. Previously, she was a reporter at KPCW. Renai is a 25 year veteran of the television news business. She was a news producer in Roanoke, VA, Richmond, VA, Miami, FL, and Washington, DC before moving to Utah in 1996 to be the Executive Producer at KSTU Fox 13. In 1999, she was promoted to Vice President/News Director. Under Renai’s tenure, Fox 13 expanded its news coverage from 2.5 hours to 10 hours of news a day. She retired in July, 2015, to enjoy her new home in Park City; but she couldn’t stay out of a newsroom for long. Less than a month later she signed on with KPCW as a reporter, and less than two years later she was promoted to General Manager when Larry Warren retired.