Roof avalanches are a very dangerous hazard that requires the utmost attentiveness this season with parts of the West seeing the most snowfall they’ve seen in decades. One father and his two children were severely injured by a rooftop snowslide last week when snow and ice slid from the roof of a multifamily residence at Purgatory Resort in Durango, CO, and struck the family.
The father and his two children, both under 10 years old, were taken to a hospital in Durango before being flown to a Denver-area Hospital, according to Karola Hanks, fire marshal for the Durango Fire Protection District who interviewed with the Durango Herald. The two children and father were all in critical condition as a result of the incident, Hanks reported.
At this time the only details released about the incident are that the slide occurred about 5:30 p.m. on March 16 in a condo or townhome development along Sheol Street south of the main Purgatory lodge. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center created an incident report about the slide, calling it an avalanche at the Purgatory Ski Resort Condos.
800 miles away in Mammoth Lakes, California, an evacuation warning has been put into effect for snow-damaged properties that pose a potential threat to life and property, and on Wednesday, a condominium complex suffered an explosion that hospitalized five people. It’s unclear as to what caused the explosion at this time, however, it is known that falling snow and ice can sever gas lines and cause leaks, leading to explosions.
We all want more snow. Who doesn’t? But on unusual winters like this one where snowfall records are getting broken left and right come unusual hazards that can often turn dangerous. Be vigilant and be safe this remaining ski season—it isn’t done snowing yet.