The snow that has buried parts of New England and left homeowners struggling with ice dams has created opportunities for Minnesota companies that melt ice off roofs. They have found little work at home in this unusually mild Minnesota winter.

Jesse Lofgren, of Monticello, Minn., said he has spent two recent days working for a Boston nursing home that he estimates has thousands of square feet of ice dams built up on its roof.

Lofgren says Bostonians are getting desperate. He says he sees people making the mistake of using blunt-force objects such as hammers, chisels and screwdrivers, even sledgehammers and axes, to break up the ice dams.

Boston homeowner Gil Dos Santos says he hired a Minnesota company that charged $500 an hour to clean his roof, and it took five hours.