At least six roofs collapse across Quebec due to heavy accumulation
The heavy snowfall and freezing rain that fell across Quebec has proved to be too much for the roofs of at least six buildings in the province.
At 5:30 a.m. Monday the roof of an industrial building collapsed in Mirabel.
The damage is extensive but nobody was inside the Groupe Villeneuve building at the time.
The roofs of at least five other industrial buildings in Quebec have collapsed since Friday.
On Friday part of the roof of a Metro grocery store collapsed in Quebec City, injuring two people.
In Trois Rivieres on Saturday a warehouse for a used auto parts company collapsed, prompting a large scale search and rescue effort that determined nobody was inside.
Also on Saturday, an arena in Quebec City was evacuated when pieces of a beam began falling down.
More seriously, the roof of a two-storey commercial/residential building in Saint Jerome caved-in. Firefighters arrived around 10 p.m. but the building had already been evacuated.
On Sunday the roof of an excavation company in Saint Lin Laurentides collapsed, although nobody was inside at the time.
Snow clearing from rooftops
The provincial government and emergency crews do not recommend people climb onto their rooftops to clear snow themselves, pointing out standing atop a slippery slope is quite dangerous.
They also point out that most residential rooftops are designed to hold the weight of snow and ice.
It's only recommended to clear snow from a home if there are signs the weight is causing damage, such as cracks developing in a ceiling or a noticeable shift in doorways.
"It's a major concern for quite a few reasons. Roof collapsing, damage to the structure, the internal trusses, the framework of the roof. We've seen a lot of cracked beams in the attics inside people's roofs," said Neil Harrison of Montreal Roofers.
Larger buildings are more at risk, and on Monday Jules Emond elementary school in Val Belair was closed for crews to shovel snow off the roof.