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Ice Block Threatens Car

The winter of 2009 brought heavy snowfalls to Chicago, and at one point the snow had piled up over a foot deep on the roof of our two-story home. Then we had a thaw. One evening when I returned home from work, I noticed that a thick sheet of ice and snow was hanging over the edge of the roof like a glacier hanging over a cliff. Our driveway runs right alongside the house, and one of our cars was parked directly underneath the overhanging ice. I thought to myself, When that ice falls, it may land on our car. Even so, I did nothing. Our driveway is filled from end to end, single-file, with four family cars, and I would have to get permission from the police to park overnight on the street. The temperature was supposed to fall below freezing overnight, and it didn't look as though the glacier was ready to fall yet. We have lived in our home for 20 years and never had a chunk of ice fall on a car.

The next morning when I went out to the car to leave for work, I looked up at the roof and noticed that the glacier was still in place. That night when I came home from work after another warm day, the glacier was still in place. I thought to myself, Just to be safe, I should at least pull my car as far as possible to the left side of the driveway. But I was tired and cold and hungry, so I decided to go in for dinner. Maybe I would move the car later that night. I mentioned the overhanging glacier to my wife. The night passed, and I went to bed.

The next morning when I went out to the car to leave for work, I looked up and noticed that the glacier was still hanging over the edge of the roof. I don't have time to mess with the cars, I thought. Moving four cars would take more than five minutes, and I would be late for work. I drove away hoping that for one more day nothing would happen.

My wife, however, had not forgotten about the glacier. When she went outside, she saw the glacier hanging two stories above our car and decided to move it. First she decided to go in the house and take care of food cooking on the stove, and then she would come back out and move the car. A few minutes later as she stood in the kitchen, she heard a crash on the side of our house. She ran outside. The glacier had fallen, landing on our car. The front windshield had taken a direct hit and was shattered. Our out-of-pocket cost for a new windshield was $250.

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