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Important Life Safety Message from the Town of Mammoth Lakes

The Town of Mammoth Lakes and the Mono County Office of Emergency Management are urging residents to utilize the break in between storms to prepare for the upcoming weather event.

The Eastern Sierra has already experienced 2-3 times the normal snowpack for early March, a level the National Weather Service is calling a “once in a generation” event.  As the Atmospheric River arrives on Thursday afternoon, concerns with the high elevation snow and heavy rain include flooding, water weighing down snow already accumulated on structures, and water being channeled by snowbanks.

Heavy Snow Load on Roofs

The Town of Mammoth Lakes Building Division is notifying all property owners to be aware of, understand and manage the signs of structural damage resulting from heavy snow. Structural roof problems will be further compounded this weekend with the additional weight of rainwater absorbing into the existing snow adding considerable stress on your home.

Now is the time to clear your roof or at least remove the top third of half of the snow from the structure. 

Small cracks in drywall and doors not closing fully can be common symptoms of snow-load-induced stress on buildings. While this may at first appear to be alarming, these signs are normal, even in average snow years, and your building is likely to be structurally sound. However, should you see broken or fractured structural members, such as roof rafters and beams, or deformed roof or wall surfaces, please report that damage right away to the Mammoth Lakes Building Division at (760) 937-5939 or (760) 965-3632. 

The Town has posted important and potentially lifesaving information on the Town of Mammoth Lakes website, under “Quick Links” and as a printable PDF to help property owners understand the signs of structural damage from heavy snow and to help mitigate these impacts with local resources. Helpful and critical resources include contacts for local snow removal contractors as well as other general contractors, engineers, and building supply stores. For additional information, please contact the Town of Mammoth Lakes Building Division at (760) 965-3632.

Propane Tanks and Vents

For those homeowners that use propane, several responsibilities come with its use. The top of the tank needs to be routinely dug out and cleared to allow access to the shutoff valve and regulator venting. In addition, make sure that unprotected sections of all exterior gas pipes are cleared of snow/ice and protected from shedding snow and ice from your roof. Downward snow pressure from snow settlement and falling snow/ice from roofs has caused many pipe sections to crack resulting in leaks. Unfortunately, if the leak occurs under the snow, the snow traps the gas, and it may be some time before the leak is detected. Homeowners, landlords and tenants need to make sure that vents for appliances are cleared of snow and inspected so that a build-up of carbon monoxide inside does not occur. It is highly recommended that carbon monoxide detectors be installed inside structures in order to alert occupants to the build-up of carbon monoxide gas. Call the MLFD at (760) 934-2300 for additional information. 

Additional Information: https://www.townofmammothlakes.ca.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=822

(From Town of Mammoth Lakes)

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