Local News

Snow buckles roofs, WGAL building condemned


After the nor’easter that dumped snow throughout the region on Thursday, some roofs collapsed including WGAL’s in Lancaster Township, Lancaster County.No one was hurt. But the Lancaster Township Fire Chief, Ron Comfort Jr., says the building is condemned as they determine the extent of the repairs.

“They heard a loud noise, some of the ceiling was starting to come down and they immediately knew something was wrong,” says Steven Roy, assistant fire chief of Lancaster Township Fire Dept. “They’ve reported the problems over the years with drainage on that roof and the pitch and the slope of the roof so obviously we know how much snow is up there now. So if they’ve had drainage problems on the roof before, there’s probably a lot of weight up there.”

Structural engineer Josh Carney of Carney Engineering Group tells FOX43 that most roofs should be able to handle up to two feet of snow with no problem. The biggest warning sign that your roof can’t handle the snow is whether it’s had leaks before.

“Water leaks that can cause damage to the wood which over time weaken its ability to carry the weight,” says Carney.

Wind can cause snow to pile up on some parts of the roof more than others, so the weight isn’t carried equally. A number of houses have gutters overflowing and leaking from the snow melt. But if you think your roof is rotting, it’s not safe to remove the snow yourself.

“There’s really no safe way to deal with it, if it’s already past its safe limit, the best thing to do is just find somewhere else to be until the snow melts,” says Carney.

At WGAL, Comfort says they are concerned that more snow Friday night could add to the weight on the roof.


5 Comments to “Snow buckles roofs, WGAL building condemned”

    MyTakeOnIt said:
    February 14, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    That's a shame. It's the only TV station that I am able to receive over the air at my place here in York (2 miles from the Fox43 tower I might add).

      Joe said:
      February 15, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      You may actually be too close to the WPMT tower. The signal may be going over your head so to speak.

        MyTakeOnIt said:
        February 16, 2014 at 2:05 AM

        Well that sucks. I kind of like the live version of this station. Their written web stories hurt the brain, if you know what I mean ;)

      Matt at FOX43 said:
      February 18, 2014 at 5:26 PM

      Try a paper clip in the back of the tv instead of a powered antenna.

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