A good portion of the damage from severe winter storms in the U.S. the first week of February 2011 was the result of wet, heavy snow, which caused collapses to roofs, porches, awnings, carports and outbuildings.
The Hartford Courant has an interactive map of recent reported roof collapses in Connecticut. In and around Boston, MA, there have been over 70 reports of roof collapsesÃ‚ Ã¢â‚¬“ mostly flat-roofed commercial structures, according to catastrophe modeler AIR Worldwide.
AIRÃ‚ also reports that the storm prompted more than 30 auto plants and facilities across the Midwest to temporarily shut down production. Many power plants were disrupted by the severe weather and record electricity demand overwhelmed the system, resulting in widespread blackouts.
Last week in Indiana, for example, the roof of a business that makes steel products collapsed under the weight of more than a foot of snow, while in Connecticut, the top of an auto repair and towing business caved in.
Meanwhile, the Adirondack Sports Complex in upstate Queensbury, New York, was temporarily closed because its roof partially collapsed, due to weight of snow and ice.
Roof and building collapse from snow is covered under a standard businessowners policy. Businesses that are stricken with a power outage can also utilize property insurance or coverage for their machinery to recover some losses.
Check out furtherÃ‚ Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) information on how business owners need to be prepared with the right commercial insurance coverage.
Guidelines from the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) can help you to determine how much snow and ice may be too much for a roof to handle.