Snow Chunk Crushes Car Top Near Dupont

Melting snow can be dangerous

By Asha Beh
|  Friday, Feb 12, 2010  |  Updated 8:32 PM EDT
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Josh Rosenbaum

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Josh Rosenbaum knows the dangers of melting snow, and not just from it causing the roofs of homes and businesses to collapse.

A big chunk of it fell off his apartment building at 1514 17th Street NW near Dupont Circle and crushed the top of his car Thursday night.

"The impact clearly would have killed someone," Rosenbaum told NBC4, and he wanted to warn others about it too.

He's not the only one. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Chief Richard Bowers posted a blog entry Friday on that very topic:

The amount of snow on the roofs of homes and businesses has created a whole new hazard that has nothing to do with them caving in or collapsing.
The danger is from large chunks of snow or ice falling from above a hitting people, or pets, down below.

The bottom line, according to Bowers, is that they can detach and fall and can inflict fairly serious injuries to an unsuspecting person -- or, in the case of Rosenbaum, an object -- below.

Icicles contain a similar danger. It's better to knock icicles off from the ground, from a safe distance, versus climbing a ladder and getting on your roof to remove them, the fire chief said.

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