Frost quakes startle residents in Southern NE

PLAINVILLE, Mass. (WPRI) — Have you ever experienced an ice or frost quake?

We’ve had many comments recently from concerned viewers who are reporting loud bangs coming from their roofs — some even thought that their ceilings had collapsed.

Linda in Plainville told Eyewitness News via ReportIt! that it happened at her home twice in two days. frost-quake2

“Monday night it sounded like a boulder went through my roof. Tuesday morning — again a very loud boom. Honestly [I] thought my roof or house was falling apart,” she said, mentioning that even her neighbors hear it.

Kim in Cranston had the same thing happen at her home. “For the past few nights, my mom and I have been woken up several times due to loud banging noises. We also noticed that our brick walkway in front of our house seems to be lifting.”

Eyewitness News Chief Meteorologist Tony Petrarca says that the phenomenon is actually called a cryoseism.

“If water is able to seep down into the soil and into the bedrock, and then freeze and expand, it can release pressure. And that pressure release is a loud noise,” he said.frost quake

According to Petrarca, the noise is less of a ground-shaking earthquake and more of a startling loud noise, but overall is not a threat.

There is one thing that can produce loud noises and damage to your home — ice dams on roofs.

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