Snow ends, but roof collapses and flooding are major concerns

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Upstate New York lake-effect snow 11/21/2014
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Snow ends, but roof collapses and flooding are major concerns
Shoveling the roof in Lake View south of #Buffalo #Snovember http://t.co/H5xRwDIY5W
Roof collapses reported in Buffalo after massive storm dumps 7 feet of snow. http://t.co/YR0OkLp2J6 http://t.co/5QqUQevTFQ
Snow-covered Buffalo area faces new risk: flooding http://t.co/NBj5um2TlM http://t.co/8sdGq3fvD4
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 20, 2014: Tami Normile and Richard Brooks attempt to remove some of the five feet of snow from a roof top on November 20, 2014 in the Lakeview neighborhood of Buffalo, New York.The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Seven deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight and into Thursday. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Sydney, a six year old Golden retriever, makes her way through five feet of snow from a driveway on November 20, 2014 in the suburb of Lakeview, Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Seven deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight and into Thursday. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
Igloos? No. These are homes in Cheektowaga, NY -- outside Buffalo. http://t.co/JISxjcA5gZ
Buffalo, NY was hit with 6-10 feet of snow. That's legit crazy http://t.co/UEXxFAd1gh
Snowed out in Buffalo, the Bills head to Detroit http://t.co/cdg76edkJC http://t.co/54ocRi1Yjn
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 19, 2014: Drew Ahmed makes his way through nearly five feet of snow on November 19, 2014 in the Lakeview neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Four deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Norbert Schnorr attempts to remove some of the five feet of snow from a driveway on November 20, 2014 in the suburb of Lakeview, Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Seven deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight and into Thursday. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Sydney, a six year old Golden retriever, makes her way through five feet of snow from a driveway on November 20, 2014 in the suburb of Lakeview, Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Seven deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight and into Thursday. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 20, 2014: Tami Normile and Richard Brooks attempt to remove some of the five feet of snow from a roof top on November 20, 2014 in the Lakeview neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Seven deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight and into Thursday. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 20, 2014: Mike Ostrander tries to remove some of the five feet of snow from his roof on November 20, 2014 in the Lakeview neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Seven deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight and into Thursday. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 19, 2014: Drew Ahmed makes his way through nearly five feet of snow on November 19, 2014 in the Lakeview neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Four deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 19, 2014: Olivia Ahmed makes her way through nearly five feet of snow on November 19, 2014 in the Lakeview neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Four deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 19, 2014: Greg Mitri shovels his way through nearly five feet of snow on November 19, 2014 in the Lakeview neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Four deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
Trucks remain stranded on the Thruway outside Buffalo http://t.co/bkoADs6eVB
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 19: In this handout provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from the GOES-East satellite, infrared image shows icy cold Canadian air settles over the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. bringing snow and bitter cold pictured at 12:30 UTC on November 19, 2014. The deep low pressure system is pushing polar air over the Eastern U.S. is centered over southeastern Canada. The storm has already dumped 5 feet of snow outside Buffalo, New York with more on the way. (Photo by NOAA/NASA GOES Project via Getty Images)
PHOTO: The inside of Ralph Wilson stadium under a thick blanket of snow and blowing drifts. http://t.co/7Hg3gFcOMI
Tractor trailers & cars stranded on I 90 highway. Snowmobiles checking for any remaining drivers. #BuffaloSnow #nywx http://t.co/275EtMUIiZ
Literally the snow is crashing through homes in Buffalo! @10weather @ABC @AriWeather @Ken_Brewer http://t.co/rzUl4GR5Qf
The longest interstate in the United States is at a standstill. Snowmobiles patrolling on i90. #BuffaloSnow #nywx http://t.co/woBTT2RSRK
Buffalo Police cruiser gets stuck at 1200 Clinton and then bursts into flames. Cops unhurt. #WGRZsnow @WGRZ http://t.co/GwPCPEy2nj
WOW! Around 5 feet of snow closing down Interstate 90 near Buffalo, New York. Photo: NY State Police. #Snow #NYwx http://t.co/h5zTAd3MyA
Photo from Caitlin Battaglia who is stuck on the Thruway near Lackawanna tolls. http://t.co/RVcJCi7q1b
Day two on the NYS thruway. #stranded #snowbound http://t.co/vbwPsXFG71
Take a look at what Troopers were up against earlier today on the NYS Thruway. http://t.co/lm8NGOe99y
Uh. Wow. Alden, NY. Posted by Shannon L Roetzer to @Wgrz FB page. #LakeEffect http://t.co/odyCcxFTcL
Recent storm tracks (fresh snowfall) & more cold air (cloud streets) over Great Lakes today via #MODIS #GreatLakes http://t.co/2upmIfoLn5
Heavy snow forecast for areas of the Great Lakes region. GOES East imagery from 9:45 am EST. http://t.co/tTvWqcmpGG http://t.co/HBC4DuYTId
'I've lost my house!': Crazy photos show New York state buried by snow http://t.co/kz4EdILbhs via @mashable http://t.co/ncAyUxhGjc
Kids and dogs enjoy the snow in Orchard Park. http://t.co/3fU4oVPxYH
@HeatherLyWGRZ shoulder deep here lancaster elma border http://t.co/0GBwtC6Xge
How would you like to open your front door and see this? East Lancaster, NY… Photo from Tara Schwab #nywx http://t.co/tzkaBcVNJp
West Seneca, NY is literally snowed in today. http://t.co/aGy9iNWunw #BuffaloSnow http://t.co/Q1lMkskP6N
The #Buffalo, NY area is in the midst of a truly insane lake effect snow storm. http://t.co/aGy9iNWunw #BuffaloSnow http://t.co/Zacgr8mfGV
Snow day #2 tomorrow? http://t.co/LoJzJPCP5V
35 floors up, looking south across lake. Wall of lake effect snow. http://t.co/280RUY8raj
#WGRZsnow http://t.co/Me7Hvv5vTt
#WGRZsnow Here in Cheektowaga right by John F Kennedy High School! http://t.co/qnfZapRhS5
Genuinely concerned about our safety now, can't see anything! http://t.co/3zGLwVHYoy

A snow wall creeps towards Buffalo in this photo posted by WBEN NewsRadio:

Lake effect from above! Thanks to one of our listeners, Brett Kostrzewski for sending this shot from a plane over the lake effect line just south of Buffalo. Gives you an appreciation of sunshine in one spot and blizzard-like conditions in others. Which side of the line are you on?

This is a wall of snow coming off the lake into #Buffalo #Snow #Weather
Snow Day! #lackawanna @wgrz #weather http://t.co/IgcCQAsFFJ
Buried alive!!! ❄️⛄️❄️⛄️❄️⛄️ guess I'll work from home. Gotta love #Buffalosnow #SNovember http://t.co/z0HIMlyNj4
More photos from the core of lake effect snow band south of Buffalo, NY @FoxMariaMolina @foxandfriends http://t.co/eH94h4G1ik
Good morning from Buffalo. That's a 6ft fence under that snow. Been stuck here for 26hrs now and no sign of moving soon. Also, a new snow front come through later... #tourlife #buffalo #snow #hothandroll
That poor women has been stuck in her car for nearly 24 hours and help has just now arrived
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- A snowfall that brought huge drifts and closed roads in the Buffalo area finally ended Friday as the looming threat of rain and higher temperatures through the weekend and beyond raised the possibility of floods and more roofs collapsing under the heavy loads.

More than 30 major roof collapses, most involving farm and flat-roof buildings, were reported overnight, officials said Friday, after snow Thursday brought the Buffalo area's three-day total to an epic 7 feet or more. Little or no snow was expected on Friday, and the forecast called for a chance of rain on Saturday and more through Monday, along with temperatures of about 60 degrees.

As towns and villages began preparing for potential flooding, homeowners and store employees around the region climbed onto roofs to shovel off the snow and reduce the danger of collapse.

"Five hours yesterday and that's just the beginning," John Normile said Friday of the effort to clear snow from the roof of his Lake View ranch-style home. He, along with his daughter and her boyfriend, had knocked about 6 feet off the back of the house and planned to be back at it for a second day.

"We're getting really concerned about the weight of it," Normile said. "We've got to do it before the rain comes."

The storms were blamed for at least 13 deaths in western New York, mostly from heart attacks and exposure. The latest was a 50-year-old man was found Friday morning in his car, which was buried in snow in Cheektowaga, police said. The cause of death wasn't immediately known.

Buffalo Snowfall Expected to Reach 8 Feet

Two elderly residents of a nursing home died after it was evacuated amid concerns of a roof collapse, Deputy Erie County Executive Richard Tobe said.

"We know that relocating people from nursing homes is a very tough thing to do," Tobe said.

More than 50 people were evacuated from several mobile home parks in suburban Cheektowaga and West Seneca on Thursday because roofs were buckling. Tobe said at least 90 small roof collapses involving carports and other structures had been reported by Friday morning, in addition to damage to a pharmacy and a metal warehouse operated by a Christmas decorations company, where damage was estimated in the millions.

Some farm animals had been injured in damaged barns, he said.

With roads impassable, driving bans in effect and the Buffalo Bills' stadium buried in snow, the NFL decided to move the Bills' Sunday home game against the New York Jets to Monday night in Detroit.

National Guardsmen drove nurses to their hospital shifts. State troopers helped elderly residents trapped in their homes. State officials assembled 463 plows, 129 loaders and 40 dump trucks from across the state for a massive cleanup effort.

Some Buffalo-area schools were closed for the fourth day, burning through snow days with winter still a month away.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that a 132-mile stretch of the Thruway, closed since Tuesday, will reopen at 3 p.m., with some restrictions.

Exit ramps will remain closed along the westernmost 75 miles, so, "Assume if you get on headed west you can't get off until Pennsylvania," Cuomo said, noting that roads remain "very dangerous."

With deliveries interrupted, some grocery stores reported running low on staples like bread and milk.

"No matter how you cut it, this event will end up in the top five for the Lake Erie area," said National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini.

Cities and towns were positioning pumps and other equipment in anticipation of widespread flooding. The worst is expected Monday when, with temperatures at or above 60, snow is expected to melt faster than it can be absorbed by the ground or snowpack.

"There's roughly the equivalent of six inches of rain in the snowpack that will essentially be released over two days," Tobe said. "If it was released as rain it would be a monumental storm."

But flooding will likely affect mostly basements and creeks, he said. "It's not going to be this giant flooding like you see in hurricanes," he said.

Even for the Buffalo area - one of the snowiest and hardiest places in America - this was one for the history books. The three-day total is close to the nearly 8 feet that the region typically gets over an entire year.

Because the Buffalo area is so snowy, building codes require homes and businesses to be able to handle up to 50 pounds per square foot on their roofs, which would be about as heavy as a slab of concrete 4 inches thick, according to Mark Bajorek, a structural engineer.

As anyone who has ever shoveled snow knows, its weight depends in part on how wet or fluffy it is, not just on how deep it is. But Bajorek said some buildings may be close to that limit now, with more precipitation on the way.

Engineers were expected to be out Friday trying to determine how much water was in the snowpack.

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Associated Press writers Michael Hill and Mary Esch contributed from Albany.

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