Updated: 03/10/2014 5:28 PM
Created: 03/10/2014 5:09 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson
Many homeowners have tried to stay on top of the growing loads of snow on their roofs, but this winter has made it tough.
On any given street in Duluth, you'll find flat roofs, steep roofs, traditional roofs, and a lot of snowy roofs. But no matter the roof, it's been a tough winter for homeowners.
"This is the worst one, absolutely the worst one," said Mike Beery in front of his Duluth home.
Even with a fairly steep roof, Beery's chimney held up a three-foot drift. Then, the melting began.
"There is too much snow. We had an ice dam on the roof. [It was] a good six feet wide and a foot thick," said Beery.
They got the ice dam removed last week.
This extreme winter has structural engineers over at UMD talking.
"There's been some recent roof failure, which has kind of brought to light the effect snow can have on structures," said Mary Christiansen, an assistant professor in the Civil Engineering Department at UMD.
Christiansen and her colleague, Rania Al-Hammoud, say homes and buildings here are built to live in Duluth. As structural engineers, they determine how much snow a roof in the Northland needs to be able to hold.
They use a map that shows average ground snow in a given region. That number is then used as a basis for calculating how much snow would be on a roof.
"When we design for roof snow load we consider it about 80% of the ground snow load," explained Al-Hammoud.
The structures are then designed to that standard, but this winter has been anything but standard. It's been extreme, say the experts.
"It might be higher than what is typically expected or what it was designed for," said Christiansen.
They advise to remove the snow while you can, and homeowners like Beery seem to agree.
"I think it's better to invest a couple of hundred dollars right now rather than a couple of thousand dollars on having a roof replaced," he said.
Wisconsin Governor Urges Early Propane Orders
A propane shortage late last winter has Gov. Scott Walker urging residents with state heating assistance to file applications for help with propane costs so officials can use applications to estimate customer benefits and lock in a better rate.
Trade Commission Imposes Duties on Foreign Steel
A victory for the domestic steel industry on Friday, when the International Trade Commission imposed duties on foreign steel from six countries.
Blue Angels Practice For Weekend Air Show in Duluth
It's breathtaking and maybe a little nerve racking to watch, but it's a typical day at the office for Lieutenant Commander John Hiltz. The Blue Angels went up for a practice run Thursday. They're in town for the Duluth Air Show that kicks off on Saturday.
Navy Divers Show Off Their Skills at Great Lakes Aquarium
It may be time for the Duluth Air Show, but not all the action is up in the sky. Navy divers stopped by the Great Lakes Aquarium to dive with some local fish and show off their skills to the public.
Northland Kids Hang Out With Navy Seals in Duluth
Navy Seals were grounded Thursday, but they still entertained kids with the Boy and Girls Club. The eight-member parachute team was suppose to drop in at the Heritage Sports Center for a few hundred kids, but our weather changed the plans. Other fun was had for Navy Week Duluth.