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.
Minnesota Health Officials Report Flu Surge
Minnesota health officials are saying there is an increase in flu outbreaks schools across the state.
UPDATED: MNsure Extends Enrollment Deadline to Dec. 31
Minnesota's health insurance exchange has extended the deadline to enroll for a second time. Minnesotans now have until Wednesday, December 31 to enroll using MNsure.
Wisconsin Budget Faces $824 million Hole
According to a new analysis released by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Wisconsin's state budget would be $824 million short to continue the current level of service.
Prepackaged Caramel Apples Linked to 4 Deaths
Health officials are warning consumers to avoid prepackaged caramel apples after they were linked to five deaths, including two in Minnesota.
GMN Meteorologist Ben Dery Says Goodbye
As Ben takes his forecasting skills to a new adventure in Seattle, we take a look at some highlights from his four years on Good Morning Northland.