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March Madness – It’s not just Basketball

snow covered cabin

UCONN basketball is not the only March Madness going on this month. It’s also the last hurrah of winter which is sure to make up for lost time with the mild 2023 January-February weather. March snowstorms present more hazards as snow is often wet and heavy. It is harder to deal with than dry powder snow as it has a much higher concentration of water due to the warmer temperatures of March.

Not surprising, this type of snow is sometimes referred to as “Heart-Attack snow” according to the Weather Underground organization. It’s been documented that approximately 100 people (mostly men) die every year from a heart attack during or after shoveling. This notorious snow is also responsible for a much higher number of power outages per storm since trees and powerlines get weighed down and snap. If you see downed lines, stay clear and call your electric utility company. Also be aware that if you have electric heat, and power is out, you could end up with frozen pipes which can burst. Consider investing in a generator to keep your heat going, along with essential appliances like your refrigerator or medical equipment.

Another March Madness hazard is roof damage. The heavy snow can stress roof joists and trusses which are meant to support the load of weight, but if not properly installed, can cause your roof to leak. Here in New England, the structural framework of timbers is designed to support extra loads but be aware that an old or compromised roof can cause leakage and mold in attics or behind walls.

Not to be discounted is the hazardous travel that comes with heavy wet snow. Sometimes commuters are fooled to think that the higher temperature means less ice and safer roads. This is not the case, and a heavy snow can immobilize an entire region. Be sure to maintain safe and steady speeds at all times, using a low gear to go down hills and avoid braking when unnecessary as this can cause a car to spin. As with all storms, avoid travel as much as possible; in fact, stay home and watch some March Madness basketball, and save those trips for the sunny, spring days ahead.