Record breaking snowfall posing hazard to roofs and trees

Record breaking snowfall posing hazard to roofs and trees

WATCH: After record-breaking snowfall, Vancouver Islanders are digging out. But while many roads are now mostly safe, the recent snowfall is proving hazardous to trees and roofs. Calvin To reports.

The recent record-breaking snowfall for February in Greater Victoria is proving hazardous to trees and roofs.

Saanich crews have received more than 100 calls of downed trees since Saturday, and arborists say even healthy trees are falling over.

“It’s been gangbusters for a few days,” said arborist Pat Riordan. “We went out Saturday morning, worked all day Saturday, and had another crew out Saturday night. Sunday they were out and then the next couple days we’ve just been on and on.”

Officials say many trees were weakened during last week’s windstorm, and the melting snow is adding even more weight to their branches.

“When we look at a tree, every tree is fine unless it has a target. And then what is that target? Whether it’s a house, whether it’s a road, whether it’s a road, whether it’s a bus station, whether it’s power lines,” said Saanich’s parks operations manager Andrew Burger.

“So, just depending on what the target value is, [that] tells us how hazardous or dangerous that tree is.”

Officials say public safety is top priority and calls are being triaged according to hazard level.

The added weight of wet snow is also a concern for rooftops.

“If you just let that all that snow melt it would be a huge pond up there,” said Ed Combs from Shoreline Roofing. “It’d be a lot of standing water.”

Meanwhile, homeowners were making sure to shovel as well.

“I’m trying to get the storm drain clear, to make sure that [the snow] has somewhere to go instead of downhill into our house,” said Saanich resident Lee-Ann Swinton.

With the weather set to warm up over the next few days, officials suggest clearing snow from roofs and storm drains to help avoid potential flooding as the snow melts.

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