When will the snow melt in Chicago? How to prepare for flooding streets, falling ice following winter storm

Chicagoans urged to take precautions as massive snowfall starts to melt
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicagoans are being urged to take precautions following the massive snowfall as that snow begins to melt.

Walking down most neighborhood streets, it's not hard to see the aftermath of last week's historic snowstorm, but in the next 24 hours, temps are expected to get above freezing. That means those snow piles and icicles will soon start to melt away, bringing a new host of concerns.

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Concerns over falling ice are one thing, but for homeowners, there are other things to keep in mind, especially with the wet snow to follow the melt.

"The concern would be collapsing roofs," said Rand Urban, who is a private contractor. "If you have an old garage, for instance, it's common for roofs to collapse."

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The warning didn't come soon enough for one home on North Oak Park Avenue in the Galewood neighborhood after Chciago Fire Department said the garage roof collapsed Saturday afternoon.

The private contractor and handyman from Portage Park advises homeowners to take a general assessment of the previous storms' impacts to their homes.

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"If they already have ice damming, then they're gonna have more ice damming. My solution is to turn down the heat to slow down the ice from melting," Urban said. "If you don't have ice damming," turning up the heat would get the snow off the roof by melting it.

Experts also said to prevent flooding from the excessive snowmelt, clear drains and sewers of debris and snow to allow draining for melting.

For property owners, Sunday afternoon -- before the next round of snow comes -- building managers should cordon off areas underneath ice from rooftops to prevent possible hazards for others.

RELATED: Weather experts: Lack of planning caused extreme cold catastrophe

Other than that, Urban said any other heavy-duty maintenance should be left to the pros.

"You gotta let it run its course. And then, when the weather warms up, then you do something about it," Urban said. "I would leave it to professionals. So even the professionals get hurt... It's dangerous enough, it's even dangerous for the professionals."

Lastly, as the snow melts, be advised the ice formations that were once solid will start to give way.

A recent snowmobile accident serves as a reminder to steer clear from thin ice.

RELATED: More than 70% of continental US covered in snow, according to NWS

If you are planning to do any type of ice or snow clearing, Urban said the best time to do it Sunday will be during the late morning and afternoon hours before the wet snow and colder temperatures are expected to come.

The video featured is from a previous report.
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