22 Nov 2014

US snowfall eases but threat of flooding

8:34 pm on 22 November 2014

Snowfall in the north-east of the US is subsiding, forecasters say, but there is now a threat of flooding from rain at the weekend as the snow melts.

Workers trying to clear snow in Buffalo, New York.

Workers trying to clear snow in Buffalo, New York. Photo: AFP

Officials in New York state are worried buildings may collapse when the rain arrives, because it initially will add to the weight of snow lying on roofs.

The state remains paralysed by "historic" levels of snowfall, reports the BBC.

The city of Buffalo was estimated to have received as much snow in three days as it normally gets in a year.

In parts of the city the snow was estimated to be as much as 2.4m deep.

Some areas received a further 0.9m late on Thursday afternoon.

The storms have been blamed for at least 13 deaths in western New York, mostly from exposure and heart attacks. Some of those who died were shovelling snow.

Weather forecasters have predicted light rain to begin on Saturday alongside warmer temperatures.

Officials in the Buffalo area of New York state have warned that the major concern now is the threat of roof collapses. More than 30 roof collapses in the area were reported overnight.

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