Department of Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky is advising producers and residents to take steps to protect livestock, pets and property during the expected upcoming periods of heavy snow.
A forecast by the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection is calling for total snowfall of 22 to 30 inches across western and central portions of the state, with lesser amounts near the southeast coast of 10 to 15 inches.
Snow is expected to begin between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Tuesday and become heavy by 9 a.m., with blizzard conditions and extremely heavy snowfall of 3-4 inches per hour throughout most of the afternoon before tapering down by evening.
Reviczky is urging producers and residents to take the following precautions:
BARNS, HOMES, GREENHOUSES AND OTHER STRUCTURES
Check roofs periodically, especially in areas where snow may accumulate due to wind deposition, and be prepared to remove snow from roofs.
Attempting to save a barn is not worth risking lives. Shoveling the roof without the proper approach may actually cause more damage than good by creating an unbalanced load on the roof.
If you fear a roof collapse and cannot remove the snow, prevent access to those areas.
Wood structures will show stress before they fail, unlike metal structures that usually will not. For a wood structure, the following audible and or visual signs may be noticed prior to failure:
• Creaking or moaning in the building
• Bowing of truss bottom
• Bowing of rafters or purlins
• Bowing of headers or columns
If these signs are present, consideration may be given to evacuating animals and people from the barn.
CARE OF ANIMALS
· All animals should have access to safe shelter out of the elements.
· Bring in companion animals and ensure pets have enough food, water and medicine.
· Check water supplies to ensure they have not frozen.
· Have livestock roughage and concentrates available and accessible.