Crook County warns of flood threat, urges snow removal

Rain on heavy snow load could bring major issues

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - Crook County issued an announcement Friday of "important weather-related information" about next week's expected warm-up and rainfall and how to prepare for potential flooding or other issues.

Here it is, in full:

The Crook County Sheriff, Crook County Public Health Department, City of Prineville and Crook County Court strongly urge all community members to look closely at removing snow from roof tops.  With recent building collapse in both Crook and Deschutes Counties, community safety is our number one priority. 

Please remember there is a risk to climbing on your roof to remove snow.  So, how do you know whether to remove snow? Here’s what we’ve learned:

Structures built in Central Oregon with building permits are designed to handle 25 pounds per square foot, which equates to about 20 inches of snow.  Older structures, built before the adoption of building codes (late 1960’s), may not meet this minimum standard.  Manufactured homes are designed to carry 30 pounds per square foot, or about 2 feet of snow.  Flat roofs are more of a concern, because they tend to hold more snow moisture.

The combination of ice, ice dams, packed snow and fresh snow that we have received over the past several months is placing an increasing load limit on most roofs in our county. 

Rainfall on top of snow can add a significant amount of weight to a roof rapidly.  If the snow continues to pile up over 20-25 inches on your house, consider removing it from the roof.  It is very dangerous to climb on the roof in snow conditions, please either use a snow rake from the ground or contact a licensed professional.  Pay attention to where the snow will land if you choose to use a snow rake, and watch out for falling icicles.

If you live in an area with a Homeowners Association and you are unable to or do not have the equipment to remove the snow from your rooftops, we encourage you to reach out to your board and let them know you need some assistance.  If you do not have a homeowners association and are unable to secure a contractor please reach out to friends, neighbors and family for the assistance you need.

The National Weather Service is projecting a change in the weather pattern that will take place early next week (Jan 16), as we transition to a much warmer and wetter weather pattern.  If this trend continues. we may receive several inches of rain which. will create the potential for flooding.  As it is difficult to predict the weather with exact certainty. this is a precautionary notice to increase awareness of the potential dangers of roof collapse and flooding in our region.

Remember the sheriff’s office, law enforcement and police department will continue to assist individuals requesting evacuation if they are willing to leave the property or are required to leave due to roof collapse and flooding and will continue to assist emergency medical personnel when called upon for help.  If you are being faced with a life-threatening emergency please call 911 and help will be dispatched to your location.

Please don’t call 911 for these issues: (And who to call instead)

· Roof issues; clearing or repairing. Google roofing contractors, arborists, or chimney sweeps.   Use of licensed contractors is recommended.

· Plumbing issues such as frozen pipes. Call a licensed plumber.

· Shoveling and snow removal. Licensed excavating contractors, landscaping contractors and   construction contractors. 

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