“We’ve Got A Dangerous Situation Here”

(Updated) A metal rod meant to keep snowbanks on the roof starting falling itself from the roof of Yale’s Berkeley College thanks to Winter Storm Nemo.

It happened around 4 p.m. according to a roofer stationed on the sidewalk to stop pedestrians from walking in front of the residential college. He diverted walkers across Elm Street, just in case either the mounds of rain-soaked snow on the roof, or the roof snow rail, were to fall onto the ground.

Click on the play arrow to watch him explain what happened.

The sidewalk was subsequently cordoned off.

As of 8:39 p.m., the section of the sidewalk in front of Berkeley was still cordoned off and the railing still across the dining hall window. A person at the Yale Facilities office said the “weight of the snow” likely caused the railing to come loose.

Yale spokesman Tom Conroy offered this update Tuesday morning:  “There is still work to be done on that snow guard using machinery, but it has been tied off so it can’t slip, and people are being kept away from that spot. There are many roofers on campus now performing various tasks.”

Parker Collins contributed reporting.

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posted by: robn on February 12, 2013  10:36am

Snow guards aren’t really meant to keep snow on a roof; they’re meant to reduce the velocity of and break up the mass of snow that releases. That the rail held snow was really the problem…probably clogged with ice.