Crews work to clear school rooftops of snow in Ontario

Posted at 6:40 PM, Jan 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-13 20:50:20-05

Considering all the snow that's been piling up in our region, the fear of roofs collapsing is very real right now.

This especially is of concerns for folks just across the Idaho-Oregon border.

In Bend, Ore., a piece of history is gone forever where a nearly 70-year-old school gym collapsed under the weight of snow Thursday.

It's exactly what the maintenance and facilities manager for the Ontario School District is trying to avoid. He's hired on a couple crews to clear snow off all of the school district's rooftops so that hopefully school can resume for students on Tuesday.

"We're going through and doing all of them," says Bob Bennett, maintenance and facilities manager for the Ontario School District. "We haven't had any damage as of yet, and we want to keep it that way."

It's a job easier said than done by far. Crews are in full swing, though, at Alameda Elementary.

Some members are keeping track of others, called safety monitors, while workers use plastic shovels to scoop up snow. At Alameda Elementary, it's estimated that about 14 inches of snow has accumulated.

Once the sled is full, it's taken to a central location where another crew piles it on a tarp. The tarp full of heavy snow is eventually poured onto the ground where it's scooped up and transported into a dump truck.

No matter where you live in the region, take heed.

"The warning sign is between 22-28 pounds," says Pat Large, the owner of Quality Tile Roofing. "They're engineered for that kind of a load before you need to think about shoveling. And, most the roofs in this area are in that range."

The longtime roofing company owner stresses that it's a dangerous job clearing snow from rooftops. To avoid costly damage to your roof, he advises hiring a professional.

Anyone in Ontario looking for employment right now is encouraged to give Quality Tile Roofing in Boise a call by dialing (208) 362-2711. If you're up for the challenge, they're in need of 60 more people to get the job done.