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Blizzard to Threaten Roof Collapse, Power Outages

With a potentially-historic blizzard aiming for New England, it is important to be aware of the threats of the storm and to prepare in advance.

With snowstorms this powerful, it's not uncommon for power outages and structural damage to occur throughout the hardest-hit areas.

Areas like Boston and Providence are forecast receive 12 to 24 inches of snow Friday through Saturday.

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Areas West of Boston and across southern New Hampshire could receive 24 or more inches.

"In some areas the snow will cling to trees and power lines as the strong winds occur. The extra weight and strain can bring limbs and lines down," AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

A loss of power means a loss of heat for many people, which could quickly become a life-threatening situation for those that are not prepared.

"As far as preparation goes, charge your cell phone ahead of the storm. Have batteries on hand, blankets, etc.," Sosnowski said.

"Do not use portable generators indoors or in an attached garage to your home. Keep kerosine heaters away from items that can easily combust such as clothing, papers, etc."

The heavy snow being forecast could also cause structural damage to homes and roof collapse.

Often during blizzards, there is blowing and drifting snow, which is often the culprit for uneven distribution.

"The greater the angle of the roof, the more weight it can generally handle. When snow gets uneven, it unevenly distributes the weight and can cause roofs to give way days after the storm."

Strong winds could create a dangerous set up for this situation.

But most healthy roofs, even flat ones, can handle a couple feet of snow , he added.

Should the white stuff begin to pile up, it's best to wait out the storm before removing it.

"People should not venture on their roofs during the storm and should only do so if physically able and safety measures have been taken," Sosnowski said.