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#1 LabattBlue

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:05 PM

Unbelievable! :(

#2 TrueBluePhD

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:14 PM

No words.  Thoughts with those affected.

#3 Spndnchz

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:44 PM

Two miles wide. 51 dead so far. At least 7 kids.

God save the rest.

#4 Spndnchz

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 09:36 PM



It seems that mother nature can kill more than terrorists at any point.

#5 shrader

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:36 AM

Crazy stuff.  For all the jokes we always get for our winters up here, at least snow storms don't leave mile long trails of pure destruction.  I'll gladly suffer through a long winter in exchange for never having to deal with something like this.

And on another note, I hope people didn't waste too much of their disposable income donating it to the fund for the Boston marathon recovery.  West Texas already got lost in the shuffle and I hope another very worthy cause like this one doesn't get passed over.

#6 TrueBluePhD

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:22 AM

Apparently while only 51 are confirmed dead, they're expecting closer to 100 when all is said and done.  Double-digit children deaths as well.

#7 Spndnchz

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:40 AM

View PostTrueBluePhD, on 21 May 2013 - 08:22 AM, said:

Apparently while only 51 are confirmed dead, they're expecting closer to 100 when all is said and done.  Double-digit children deaths as well.

They just revised it down to 24.  If that's a good thing...

#8 PASabreFan

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:47 AM

View PostSpndnchz, on 21 May 2013 - 08:40 AM, said:

They just revised it down to 24.  If that's a good thing...

Wow. A very good thing.

Part of me wants to rip on a country that can put the vice president into a hardened secure bunker if a Cesna goes 10 feet into Washington's air space but can't protect kids in schools in Tornado Alley. But I really don't know if there's a practical way to prevent what happened there. It's a little mind boggling that their best play was to stand in the hall and grab the wall or something. I heard that this storm was being predicted for two days. We have snow days. They could have canceled school I guess.

#9 TrueBluePhD

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:51 AM

View PostSpndnchz, on 21 May 2013 - 08:40 AM, said:

They just revised it down to 24.  If that's a good thing...

Very good thing, assuming those thought dead are still capable of "living" in the traditional sense.

#10 bunomatic

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:52 AM

In the news I read this morning they're saying 100 with more missing.

#11 weave

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:12 AM

View PostPASabreFan, on 21 May 2013 - 08:47 AM, said:

Wow. A very good thing.

Part of me wants to rip on a country that can put the vice president into a hardened secure bunker if a Cesna goes 10 feet into Washington's air space but can't protect kids in schools in Tornado Alley. But I really don't know if there's a practical way to prevent what happened there. It's a little mind boggling that their best play was to stand in the hall and grab the wall or something. I heard that this storm was being predicted for two days. We have snow days. They could have canceled school I guess.

Revised building codes that don't allow cinder block construction for schools. et al in Tornado Ally would go a long way.  Maybe they already have this though and the school affected yesterday was grandfathered?  It seems to me that in earthquake prone areas we have taken the risk very seriously and are constructing buildings as appropriately as we can.  I don't get the sense that we do the same in tornado risk areas.

I cannot imagine the emotion those parents are dealing with right now.  7 kids drowned in a pool of water at that school.  A bunch of the youngest are still missing if I read things correctly.  Damn.  That's a parents worst nightmare.

#12 Claude_Verret

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:25 AM

Our group just hired a woman who moved to NC from Oklahoma last year, I was speaking to her this morning and she said she would drive through that town every day and has friends who live there still.  She has no idea how they fared though since communications are basically shut down.  She said she is just happy to be in NC and away from the tornadoes..... until I told her about the hurricanes.

#13 Spndnchz

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:50 AM

This guy was a block away.


Awesome.



#14 Spndnchz

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:07 AM

This one taken out of the hole in a shelter.  Crazy.



#15 PASabreFan

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:09 AM

Thanks for posting that second one chz. I reach for words — awesome nailed it. Just awesome.

#16 Josie914

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:31 AM

I cannot imagine being there right now. I grew up in a part of Ohio that was frequented by twisters, and had a town/school flattened not 5 minutes from my house. Got hit by one when I was in a van years ago too. And those were little F-1 to F-3's. Those things... once you hear the sound, you never un-hear it.

That thing was a monster. Some people I've talked to said the weatherman was telling them to evacuate, because staying unless you were underground was a death sentence. Such a shame it hit those schools. I keep saying why can't one flatten Westboro Baptist?

#17 TrueBluePhD

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:45 AM

View PostSpndnchz, on 21 May 2013 - 09:50 AM, said:

This guy was a block away.


Maybe I'm a wuss, but I'm fairly confident if I were a block away from that thing I wouldn't be sitting there in my car taking a video.

#18 That Aud Smell

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:58 AM

an event like this one is, all at once, unspeakably awesome and heart-breakingly sad.

but it may also be terribly shameful. i read a report that many homes (and schools, i infer) in that area get built without basements or below-ground access because the soil table there makes it impractical to install one, unless you're going to spend significant resources in order to secure it. so, so sad -- such a terrible shame.

#19 Neuvirths Glove

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:12 PM

Here's a pic I took of the storm cell that had the tornado that killed 6 in Granbury, TX, last week.

Attached File  668732387519458bc7a40f1.58836373.jpeg   57.23K   14 downloads

More storms are forming this afternoon; kinda hoping we don't getting exciting weather tonight.

Edited by Doohickie, 21 May 2013 - 12:14 PM.


#20 Josie914

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:20 PM

View PostTrueBluePhD, on 21 May 2013 - 11:45 AM, said:

Maybe I'm a wuss, but I'm fairly confident if I were a block away from that thing I wouldn't be sitting there in my car taking a video.

Either balls of steel or utter stupidity. I would've needed new upholstery.

#21 Neuvirths Glove

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:24 PM

View PostJosie914, on 21 May 2013 - 12:20 PM, said:



Either balls of steel or utter stupidity. I would've needed new upholstery.

People who've had storm chaser training can read the movements of tornadoes.  It's not random.  That video was a little close for comfort, but maybe the guy had some experience and training to know how close is too close.  I know a few storm chasers and while it seems crazy, it can actually be safer because you're actively tracking the storm rather than just hunkering down and hoping it misses you.

#22 weave

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:35 PM

View PostThat Aud Smell, on 21 May 2013 - 11:58 AM, said:

an event like this one is, all at once, unspeakably awesome and heart-breakingly sad.

but it may also be terribly shameful. i read a report that many homes (and schools, i infer) in that area get built without basements or below-ground access because the soil table there makes it impractical to install one, unless you're going to spend significant resources in order to secure it. so, so sad -- such a terrible shame.

If I were in an area with expectations of tornado activity annually and didn't have a basement, I would have a fortified safe room in my house plans.

#23 That Aud Smell

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:39 PM

View Postweave, on 21 May 2013 - 01:35 PM, said:

If I were in an area with expectations of tornado activity annually and didn't have a basement, I would have a fortified safe room in my house plans.

I hear you. I wonder how a safe room would've held up to yesterday's monstrous storm.

#24 Claude_Verret

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:46 PM

We had a tornado come through my town two years ago, and although the devastation was nowhere near on the scale what we are seeing in Oklahoma, I will never forget that day, the color of the sky as the twister approached, and huddling with my terrified family in our crawl space.  Luckily I only had a few downed tree limbs in my yard and my house came through pretty much unscathed, but some of the properties shown in this video are about a half mile from my house.  The twisters that ripped through NC that day killed 20+ people if I remember correctly.  I agree that you're probably more insane than brave to go out trying to get close to these things in order to film them.  The one upside?  I still have a bunch of free tornado firewood stacked out by the fire pit in my backyard.



#25 IKnowPhysics

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 02:47 PM

That blows.

#26 Josie914

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 03:03 PM

View PostClaude_Verret, on 21 May 2013 - 01:46 PM, said:

We had a tornado come through my town two years ago, and although the devastation was nowhere near on the scale what we are seeing in Oklahoma, I will never forget that day, the color of the sky as the twister approached, and huddling with my terrified family in our crawl space.  Luckily I only had a few downed tree limbs in my yard and my house came through pretty much unscathed, but some of the properties shown in this video are about a half mile from my house.  The twisters that ripped through NC that day killed 20+ people if I remember correctly.  I agree that you're probably more insane than brave to go out trying to get close to these things in order to film them.  The one upside?  I still have a bunch of free tornado firewood stacked out by the fire pit in my backyard.



Free tornado firewood = a plus. We had a storm system come through that had previous spawned an F5 that took out Van Wert, Ohio. We found tons of receipts from Van Wert area stores and christmas ornaments, oddly enough. We hang a few of them on our tree every year in memory.

#27 Spndnchz

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 03:45 PM

We need to find out when Obama knew this was an F-5.

#28 PASabreFan

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 04:09 PM

View PostSpndnchz, on 21 May 2013 - 03:45 PM, said:

We need to find out when Obama knew this was an F-5.

Well any minute now Pat Robertson is going to blame it on the gays. I'm sure that will easily be tied to Obama. You're not all that far off, kiddo.

#29 Arcsabresfan41

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:24 PM

View PostPASabreFan, on 21 May 2013 - 04:09 PM, said:

Well any minute now Pat Robertson is going to blame it on the gays. I'm sure that will easily be tied to Obama. You're not all that far off, kiddo.
Not this time. http://www.opposingv...ims-not-praying

#30 JJFIVEOH

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:51 PM

Building codes have nothing to do with what happened here. They knew about the possibility of tornados two days in advance, but that area gets the possibility double digit times a year. you can't just close everything down for 1/4 of the country 15 times a year. Perhaps they could have closed school for the day, what happens if this tornado had shifted 500 feet and another part of the neighborhood was obliterated with some of the school kid's homes and the school was spared. Everybody would have been saying they should have had school to save the kids lives. There is no right or wrong, it just happened. Unless you get below ground there is nothing that will withstand, that is feasible, 200MPH winds. I've been through sustained winds of 125MPH for two hours with 140MPH wind gusts, in a concrete house, so I felt pretty comfortable. This house is about as strong as you'll find commonly. I don't think it would withstand 200MPH.

#31 TrueBluePhD

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:04 PM

View PostJJFIVEOH, on 21 May 2013 - 05:51 PM, said:

Building codes have nothing to do with what happened here. They knew about the possibility of tornados two days in advance, but that area gets the possibility double digit times a year. you can't just close everything down for 1/4 of the country 15 times a year. Perhaps they could have closed school for the day, what happens if this tornado had shifted 500 feet and another part of the neighborhood was obliterated with some of the school kid's homes and the school was spared. Everybody would have been saying they should have had school to save the kids lives. There is no right or wrong, it just happened. Unless you get below ground there is nothing that will withstand, that is feasible, 200MPH winds. I've been through sustained winds of 125MPH for two hours with 140MPH wind gusts, in a concrete house, so I felt pretty comfortable. This house is about as strong as you'll find commonly. I don't think it would withstand 200MPH.

A 200 mph hurricane, probably not.  A 200 mph tornado, absolutely not.  I'm no physicist (paging Physics to the OKC thread), but I believe the tight rotation of tornadoes is more important to their destructive power than the wind speed.  

All I know is when we get 65 mph wind gusts in WNY it's a little unnerving to hear the house creaking and how loud it is...cannot fathom wind speeds significantly higher than that.

#32 IKnowPhysics

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:55 PM

Physicist here.

200mph winds generate a pressure of about 100lbs per square foot.  The effective area of a the average-sized human from the front, accounting for the drag coefficient, is close to 9 square feet.  That means in 200mph winds, your body would experience the weight of 1/3 of a Toyota Corolla on you, trying to push you sideways, which it would do very easily until you also started flying really quickly.  It also means that on a wall or something with the area of a standard door, those 200mph winds are equivalent to dropping the whole weight of that car through the door.

So that's why a lot of stuff gets destroyed.  Then you factor in, with great importance, that objects with mass are also flying around in wind like that (like trees, animals, phone poles, roofs, and cars) and the chance that the Toyota Corolla actually comes through your front door goes up considerably.

But's that's only based on wind speed.  Damage doesn't exactly care which way the wind blows.

Here's the difference between hurricanes and tornadoes with respect to damage and wind ratings:
  • Tornadoes are very tight (< 3 miles wide) and have high sustained wind speeds.  An EF-5 tornado has wind speeds greater than 200mph (like this one observed in Moore, OK, 210mph).  Everything in its path gets wrecked, but the area is much smaller than a Hurricane.
  • Hurricanes are very wide and have high short term wind speeds (gusts).  A Category Five hurricane (like Andrew, 1992, 175mph) can have gusts up to 200mph.  Not as devastating per square mile as a tornado, but the damage area can be enormous.  Then tack on storm surge in coastal areas, flooding, etc.
  • In general, hurricanes are more costly in terms of damage dollars because of flooding and enormous damage area.  In general, tornadoes are more deadly because of the limits of advanced warning and the concentrated potency of destruction.
  • Andrew was an extremely devastating hurricane, with 26 lives lost.  The last EF-5 hurricane to roll through Moore, OK occured in 1999, with wind speeds of 302mph, and cost 36 lives.
  • In general EF-5 tornadoes (9 in the last six years) occur with more frequency in the US than Category 5 hurricanes (2 in the last six years).
Best you can do, in both cases actually, is be prepared and have a good warning system.

#33 Claude_Verret

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:16 PM

View PostPASabreFan, on 21 May 2013 - 04:09 PM, said:

Well any minute now Pat Robertson is going to blame it on the gays. I'm sure that will easily be tied to Obama. You're not all that far off, kiddo.

Just like Barbara Boxer wasted no time in using this tragedy to promote her agenda, but its only bad when the other side politicizes natural disasters.

#34 JJFIVEOH

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:20 PM

Keep in mind, with a hurricane, you will experience 75% of the eventual maximum sustained winds for 2 hours or more. So with a 160 MPH cat 5 hurricane you'll be getting no less than 120 MPH winds for at least 2 hours STRAIGHT. And that's the minimum, not to mention the gusts involved. So with a 160 MPH cat 5 you'll also be getting 180-185 MPH wind gusts. And, it's not like that's all of it because you'll be getting winds for 3 hours before and after that 2 hour span.

#35 weave

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:07 PM

View PostJJFIVEOH, on 21 May 2013 - 05:51 PM, said:

Building codes have nothing to do with what happened here. They knew about the possibility of tornados two days in advance, but that area gets the possibility double digit times a year. you can't just close everything down for 1/4 of the country 15 times a year. Perhaps they could have closed school for the day, what happens if this tornado had shifted 500 feet and another part of the neighborhood was obliterated with some of the school kid's homes and the school was spared. Everybody would have been saying they should have had school to save the kids lives. There is no right or wrong, it just happened. Unless you get below ground there is nothing that will withstand, that is feasible, 200MPH winds. I've been through sustained winds of 125MPH for two hours with 140MPH wind gusts, in a concrete house, so I felt pretty comfortable. This house is about as strong as you'll find commonly. I don't think it would withstand 200MPH.

Responding to the bolded parts;
We can and do change required building designs to mitigate storm damage.  No, we cannot expect to eliminate destruction.  But there is no good reason to not attempt to create structure designs and mandate materials that allow us to mitigate and control to some extent how the damage occurs.  California's building codes to mitigate earthquake damage is an excellent example.

It is fairly widespread knowledge that cinder block construction handles tornadoes poorly. Much, much more poorly than solid concrete. and that school was of cinder block construction.  IMO from this point forward there shouldn't be a school built in those areas frequently plagued with tornadoes from cinder block construction.  Not when there are known, demonstrated better choices for building materials.

Again, for all I know these states may already require this sort of thing and that school maybe happened to be built before the requirements.

#36 Ghost of Dwight Drane

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:15 PM

View Postweave, on 21 May 2013 - 08:07 PM, said:

Responding to the bolded parts;
We can and do change required building designs to mitigate storm damage. No, we cannot expect to eliminate destruction. But there is no good reason to not attempt to create structure designs and mandate materials that allow us to mitigate and control to some extent how the damage occurs. California's building codes to mitigate earthquake damage is an excellent example.

It is fairly widespread knowledge that cinder block construction handles tornadoes poorly. Much, much more poorly than solid concrete. and that school was of cinder block construction. IMO from this point forward there shouldn't be a school built in those areas frequently plagued with tornadoes from cinder block construction. Not when there are known, demonstrated better choices for building materials.

Again, for all I know these states may already require this sort of thing and that school maybe happened to be built before the requirements.

It has been stated that the soil of OK is not condusive for basements...much like Florida. It costs 8K just to put a 6x8 storm cellar in play. Aud Smell mentioned it up top.....

Some day Buffalo is going to get burried by 12 feet of snow on a long weekend, and people will opine how stupid we are to live next to a westerly lake as the national guard is here for 2 weeks digging us out......

#37 weave

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:20 PM

View PostGhost of Dwight Drane, on 21 May 2013 - 08:15 PM, said:

It has been stated that the soil of OK is not condusive for basements...much like Florida. It costs 8K just to put a 6x8 storm cellar in play. Aud Smell mentioned it up top.....

Some day Buffalo is going to get burried by 12 feet of snow on a long weekend, and people will opine how stupid we are to live next to a westerly lake as the national guard is here for 2 weeks digging us out......

Not sure where you got basements in the post you responded to.

#38 JJFIVEOH

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:28 PM

View Postweave, on 21 May 2013 - 08:07 PM, said:

Responding to the bolded parts;
We can and do change required building designs to mitigate storm damage.  No, we cannot expect to eliminate destruction.  But there is no good reason to not attempt to create structure designs and mandate materials that allow us to mitigate and control to some extent how the damage occurs.  California's building codes to mitigate earthquake damage is an excellent example.

It is fairly widespread knowledge that cinder block construction handles tornadoes poorly. Much, much more poorly than solid concrete. and that school was of cinder block construction.  IMO from this point forward there shouldn't be a school built in those areas frequently plagued with tornadoes from cinder block construction.  Not when there are known, demonstrated better choices for building materials.

Again, for all I know these states may already require this sort of thing and that school maybe happened to be built before the requirements.

I agree with you completely. My point was in reference to this particular tornado. Nothing was going to stop those kids from being killed.

I'm surprised more construction hasn't gone the way of concrete. Especially when you consider that a lot of those homes were fairly new because of the last tornado in 1999. I don't think a concrete house would have made in a difference in this case, but it might in areas that have been hit by FE3's. From the looks of it, all those houses that got demolished were all wood frame. If most of those houses were post 1999, I would have smartened up.

View PostGhost of Dwight Drane, on 21 May 2013 - 08:15 PM, said:

It has been stated that the soil of OK is not condusive for basements...much like Florida. It costs 8K just to put a 6x8 storm cellar in play. Aud Smell mentioned it up top.....

Some day Buffalo is going to get burried by 12 feet of snow on a long weekend, and people will opine how stupid we are to live next to a westerly lake as the national guard is here for 2 weeks digging us out......

Right. There is no place void of zero possibilites of natural destruction. Some might be less than others, but it exists everywhere.

Edited by JJFIVEOH, 21 May 2013 - 08:51 PM.


#39 weave

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:33 PM

View PostJJFIVEOH, on 21 May 2013 - 08:28 PM, said:

I agree with you completely. My point was in reference to this particular tornado. Nothing was going to stop those kids from being killed.

I'm surprised more construction hasn't gone the way of concrete. Especially when you consider that a lot of those homes were fairly new because of the last tornado in 1999. I don't think a concrete house would have made in a difference in this case, but it might in areas that have been hit by FE3's. From the looks of it, all those houses that got demolished were all wood frame. If most of those houses were post 1999, I would have smartened up.



Right. There is no place void of chances of natural destruction. Some might be less than others, but it exists everywhere.


And I wonder if any of those new-since-99 homes were designed (even the stick built ones) to manage *how* they fail in extreme wind.  Not unlike cars designed to crumple but retain the integrity of the passenger cabin.

If they weren't, why not?  (rhetorical of course.  I know homes are about style and structure is limited to, does it stand up)

#40 JJFIVEOH

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:50 PM

View Postweave, on 21 May 2013 - 08:33 PM, said:

And I wonder if any of those new-since-99 homes were designed (even the stick built ones) to manage *how* they fail in extreme wind.  Not unlike cars designed to crumple but retain the integrity of the passenger cabin.

If they weren't, why not?  (rhetorical of course.  I know homes are about style and structure is limited to, does it stand up)

That's a good question. Things like tying the walls together and tying to roof to the foundation. Stuff that really isn't that expensive but can save lives.

I don't know why they didn't improve. Every  time you hear about a tornado, all too often it goes through an old established town so most of the homes are already old. You would think they would take the opportunity to step up. It's almost like in order for a town to modernize they need to get wiped out. It's unfortunate, but it's true. A lot of these towns just don't have the $$ to make major improvements to their homes. I wonder what Joplin is doing since they got hit.

I'm curious how many states (or at least counties) have made major changes to their building codes. After Andrew hit down here they made HUGE changes and it's made a lot of these homes damn near indestructible.





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