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home : opinions : our editorials August 1, 2014


WITC

2/26/2014 1:08:00 PM
Winter posing problems
The Rice Lake Chronotype


Problems, some dangerous, are piling up along with the snow.
Furnace exhaust pipes that vent through the wall are clogging with snow. Rice Lake Fire Chief Jim Resac said last week's snow and winds made the problem worse.
A clogged furnace vent can result in a buildup of carbon monoxide in homes. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless byproduct of combustion that happens to be deadly. The same applies to snow on roofs, which can clog chimneys and plumbing vent pipes.
Furnace inlet and outlet pipes should be checked. Carbon monoxide detectors are a must for homes. Here in the North Country they're as basic as fire detectors.
The snow is also fouling gas meters. Snow and ice buildup on meters can lead to natural gas buildup in the home. Xcel Energy and other energy companies ask natural gas customers to keep their meters free of snow and ice because the natural gas meter's regulator vent is especially vulnerable to plugging any time there is a combination of snow and ice buildup and fluctuating temperatures. They advise not to use sharp tools, shovels or snowblowers on or near gas meters, and keep them free of on ice and snow.
The city continues to ask utility customers to keep a thin stream of water running to keep underground supply pipes from freezing. That continues to be a problem and is expected to remain so for several weeks.
High snow piles have created a problem at intersections where cross traffic can't be seen without going half way into the intersection. That's compounded by ice on the roads. City crews are doing what they can to sand streets and knock down snowbanks, but the ultimate responsibility lies with the drivers. The answer is simply to slow down.
And as if there wasn't already trouble enough, reports are now coming in of roofs caving in because of the snow load, particularly on older buildings. It's best to rake snow off roofs as much as possible. That will prevent cave-ins and, possibly, ice dams, if spring ever comes.
It's been a challenging winter that has affected all of us in juggled schedules, increased heating costs, and tested patience. Perhaps in a few more days, or weeks ...

[The editorials that appear weekly in this space are the views of the newspaper as determined by The Chronotype's editorial board. All editorials are written by one or more members of the board, which consists of Warren Dorrance, Sam Finazzo, Gene Prigge and Eileen Nimm.]







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