Snowblower on the roof: Port au Choix house buried for 2nd time

You would think having to use a snowblower to clear the roof of your home would be a once in a lifetime experience, but not for a couple on Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula.

'I love the winter, but I dread it now, dread it,' says homeowner Janice Gould

Rick Cooper and some neighbours taking a break from snowblowing the roof of his house. (Janice Gould)

You would think having to use a snowblower to clear the roof of your home would be a once in a lifetime experience, but not for Janice Gould and Rick Cooper. 

Their house in Port au Choix, on Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula, was partially buried in snow for the second time after a storm last weekend.

Footprints in the snow at roof level. (Janice Gould)

"As it progressed into the night we could see the snow was building up quite bad behind our house, so we stayed up late, kind of nervous you know," said Gould, describing the anxious hours they spent watching the weather Saturday evening.

It was scary, it scared both of us.- Janice Gould

That storm came on the heels of a three-day blizzard the weekend before, which had already dumped up to 79 centimetres of snow in parts of the area.

It turns out Gould and Cooper had good reason to be nervous.

A photo of the shed taken from the roof of the house. (Janice Gould)

"Around 4 a.m. we decided we better get some sleep because we're going to have a lot of work to do tomorrow and we weren't very long in the bed, just dozing off I guess, and BANG," she said.

"The snow had peaked on the hill behind the house and avalanched back down and hit the house. It was scary, it scared both of us."

Shovelling out after the avalanche took about three days. (Janice Gould)

The snow had come down over the hill behind the house and crashed into the back wall, piling up and over onto the roof and sides of the home.

"There was only a couple of feet of snow on the roof this time, the porch was under about three feet or so." 

It took three days and some helpful neighbours armed with shovels to get the clean-up done.

It took about five hours just to clear the roof. (Janice Gould)

"They came and shovelled out the windows for us, and helped shovel off the roof of the house while Rick was clearing it with the snowblower," Gould told CBC Radio's Corner Brook Morning Show.

Looking down from the peak of the roof. (Janice Gould)

Deja vu 

It's not the first time Cooper has been on the roof of the house with a snowblower.

After a four-month trip to visit Gould's daughter in Alberta in 2014, they returned home to find the house buried under a massive mound of snow.

"When we get those southwest storms, it all comes and seems to land right on our house," said Gould.

The walls in parts of the house bent under the strain of the weight of the snow in 2014, and this latest incident caused more damage to a wall in a bedroom in the back of the house. (Janice Gould)

Moving house 

Cooper put up a plastic snow fence after 2014, but it didn't last long.

"The first wind storm we had blew that to pieces," Gould said.

They're considering building a sturdier fence to try to contain the snow on the hill in the back of the house. Gould and Cooper have also talked about moving — and they're not just talking about themselves. 

"We have a lower field here and we've been talking about trying to move the house down there now."

With files from the Corner Brook Morning Show