Weather Alerts

Buffalo-area roof collapses threaten lives, businesses after historic snowfall

Several businesses in Orchard Park, as well as a Hamburg bowling alley, saw damages after the 80-plus inches of snow put significant weight on the structures.

After a historical snowfall event in the Buffalo area this past week, residents weren’t just taking to the driveways and sidewalks to clear snow. In the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park, New York (home to the NFL’s Buffalo Bills), the 80 inches of snow that accumulated was also cleared off local roofs in order to prevent a major danger to homes.

Snow as deep and heavy as the recent lake-effect snowstorm can cause roofs to collapse, threatening the lives of people who live inside. An unfortunate scenario befell Buffalo in November 2014, when a 6-foot snow event known as “Snowvember” led to emergency calls for numerous collapsed roofs around the region.

One Orchard Park business, Graffiti Grafix & Signs, had its roof collapse in 2014 and had about a third of the roof come down once again this past week, according to The Buffalo News. Orchard Park Police Chief Patrick Fitzgerald noted in an email that three commercial properties in Orchard Park, including Graffiti Grafix & Signs, suffered damage from roof collapse.

In nearby Hamburg, which had a storm total of over 80 inches of snowfall, eight greenhouses collapsed at a local farm market, and a local bowling alley is now expected to be demolished after part of its roof caved in this past Friday.

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