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Conn. roof collapses increase; machinery arriving

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 11, 2013 at 6:58 pm •  Published: February 11, 2013
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BRANFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Monday urged the clearing of flat, snow-covered school roofs and drains, warning that rain and ice was adding weight to structures already burdened with snow from the weekend storm.

He said the number of reported roof collapses across Connecticut had grown to at least 16 by early evening, up from five collapses Monday morning. The state has been calling school superintendents to warn them, he said.

"Schools are important resources. Please get somebody up on the roof," Malloy said during an evening briefing in Hartford. "At the very least, make sure that the drains are clear and working. We don't want a tragedy to occur at one of our school buildings."

He also urged homeowners to clear their roofs if necessary, adding that some of the collapses occurred in residential structures.

Malloy traveled the state Monday to get a first-hand look at the storm's wrath. He said the state is sending resources, such as heavy machinery, pay loaders and massive snow blowers, to hard-hit municipalities to help them with snow removal.

The state is seeking assets from other state Transportation Departments to deal with the cleanup as well as to prepare for another storm that forecasters say could hit the state this week. Also, the Connecticut National Guard is seeking assistance from other guard units.

Bill Shea, deputy commissioner at the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, said 25 out-of-state National Guard soldiers with six excavators were expected to arrive in Connecticut on Monday evening. An additional 28 guardsmen from Pennsylvania were scheduled to arrive Tuesday to help the 250 Connecticut guard members on duty clear snow.

More help was expected Tuesday night from 50 Air National Guard members from Pennsylvania bringing extra equipment.

Malloy said municipalities don't have the equipment to handle so much snow, citing drifts that are 10 feet high.

"This is a historic storm," Malloy said. "We had historic levels of snow in every one of our counties."

Malloy could not say yet how much the storm would cost. "A lot," he said, urging residents to be patient with the pace of snow removal.

Most schools and colleges in Connecticut are closed and nonessential state workers are staying home as plow crews continue to clear highways and local streets two days after the epic storm, which dumped up to 3 feet of snow on New England and killed seven people in Connecticut.

Malloy said state offices and the court system were expected to open Wednesday.

National Guard Humvees have been set up as ambulances to transport sick and injured people, he said.


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