Hurricane (FLA) Housing Codes?

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I have been watching the continuous coverage tonight on The Weather Channel, MSNBC, CNN and FOX News. The hurricane Jeanne has landed near Vero Beach, FL, and not as many people have evacuated as they did in previous hurricanes this season. And this hurricane appears to be worse that the others.
One caller has called in to CNN from his home in Melbourne, FL and he has an electric generator with a 28-gallon supply of gasoline and two roofs! Next spring he want to have a 3rd (steel) roof built. But he sounded prepared to battle this storm tonight.
Questions ..... do the new Florida construction (house) codes call for a cement frame (walls and basement/1st floor)? Does anyone know?
I noticed after the high winds began, only the news media (satellite trucks) were visible and you didn't even see any police cars or fire trucks along Route 1 or A-1-A. Are the rescue (emergency workers) ordered to stay put?
As I write this at 2:20 am Eastern time, over 800,000 residents in FL are without power, and it's getting worse by the hour. Will it take weeks to get back to normal, whatever that is?
Edwin
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clipped

I had the good fortune to be out of work, a few years ago, and without city water or electricity. Fortunately, I had a good supply of candles, blankets and kerosene for lamps. December; outside temp 32. Heating water is easy - put a pan on shelf in the oven, place votive candle on shelf below it. Works for a can of Beanie Weenies, too :o) If yer only problem is no electricity, consider yourself fortunate. It is good training. You can bathe in two cups of room-temp. water, although it will not be up to normal standards :o)
At first, Miami-Dade had the toughest standards, after H. Andrew. Then other areas adopted tougher rules, and the state got tougher. In our neighborhood, flood zones have far stricter rules for new construction and for remodels. Ground floor in flood zone has to be concrete, and not a habitable space. If a structure is repaired or remodeled more than 50%, it has to be raised up on stilts. The condo next to us is four stories - all units have ground level entry, and each is four stories to top level. Bottom level is garage and storage. A bunch of owners made their ground-level storage space into family rooms. Insurance company made them remove all the "improvements". Gotta be into fitness to live on four levels :o) City is lazy about enforcing code, but I guess some ins. companies do it.
Our county doesn't like emergency people out when wind is over 40 mph., I think. Bridges are dangerous, and ambulances blow over. One of the very good reasons for "mandatory" evacuations. The idiots who ignore them, and then dial 911 when the going gets tough must think it is all just for fun. Our county is reviewing employment of a bunch of public health folks who didn't show up for work at shelters, which is part of the disaster plan to provide for medical needs. My hubby stayed home during Frances, whilst I went with friend to a motel on high ground. He was going to protect his property with 12' storm surge, 20' waves and 100 mph wind. If I have a choice, I will not die by drowning or by being crushed in a building that collapses. I'm waiting for Jeanne to blow by. Last weekend was great - no hurricanes :o) I'm still hoping the next hurricane blows away all those touch-screen "voting" machines.
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Buried lines have a tendency to go underwater in a place where the static water table is 4 or 5 feet down on a dry day. Notice we don't have a lot of basements either. It is a lot faster to repair a poler than it is to wait for the water table to drop enough to work on a buried line.
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My son lives in Coral Springs where all the cables are buried and he has never had a power outage, even in hurricane weather. And to boot, Coral Springs is in a flood zone.
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wrote:

Some of the *buried* water pipes in Winter Park,FL.(Orlando) were broken when trees were blown over.That could happen to electic lines,too. Buried electric lines are not problem-free.(but,yes,they are less vulnerable to these storms.)
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik-at-kua.net
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I suspect that the number of power outages is going to drop around here. If a tree could fall on a line it has or it was cut down during the "horticulture amnesty". It sure looks like Paul Bunyon came through my yard ;-)
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In a perfect world, yes. But the world isn't perfect.
Not all utility lines are built into a "ring" and many primaries are simply linear.

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Trees are the biggest danger to power lines, underground or above. The problem is people like trees and quickly forget the weeks they spent in the dark when they replant. If the power company starts trimming them people lose their minds. Buried utilities even make this battle harder because people don't see the danger of the tree until it falls and drags up all those conduits, pipes or whatever.
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Underground lines are not immune from lightning. The study done at UCF showed lines can still be hit if they are 6' down. They do have some cool collections of fused glass tubes where lightning did blast it's way through the sand we call dirt here.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Greg) wrote in

Called fulgurites,and NOVA did a neat show on lightning and it's effects on power lines.(also a neat rocketry exibition)
several Florida universities are doing such research.
Central Florida is the lightning capital of the US.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik-at-kua.net
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No? All of Con-Ed's lines in NYC are underground. And often, 347,500 volt lines shared the same manholes as 28,000, 12,500, and 277/480 or 120/208 volt lines.
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HA HA Budys Here wrote:

And how about the rest of the grid?
-- dadiOH _____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.0... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico ____________________________
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This is really a dumb discussion. As folks have pointed out newer neighborhoods are getting underground service and they are not going to dig up old neighborhoods to do it. To start with utility maps are bad enough that they would be digging up something else about once a mile and there are simply so many things in existing right of ways that they are usually scared to dig even if they know where things are. Pretty much all of the underground stuff here is directional bored and that ain't cheap.
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All of them, including the lines from 6 new power plants currently under construction.
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HA HA Budys Here wrote:

Rest of the state too? Whole eastern seaboard?
-- dadiOH _____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.0... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico ____________________________
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There has been a big fight going on in Connecticut about 69 miles of 345KV line to be run through part of the state, primarily to get more power to Long Island across the Sound. The power company involved has already committed to burying 44 miles, most of which goes through one of the most affluent areas of the country. Draw your own conclusion.
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Well, one conclusion jumps out - some people think they're above having to look at miles of unsightly transmission lines.
Across the great plains is one thing, but let's face it, if there's a better way (asthetically) to run power, telephone and other communication lines, why shouldn't it be employed?
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Read again:
"All of Con-Ed's lines ***in NYC*** are underground."
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And how deep is the water table?
Want some real life experience that is about 3 hours old. They just told my daughter in West Palm Beach her power will be out for at least another week but the people in the next buildong over had it's power on the next day after Jeanne. Hers is underground, the power next door was overhead. It took a guy in a bucket truck about 15 minutes to fix it. If you think this is internet bullshit call and ask when the power at 4798 Sea Oats circle West Palm Beach 33417 Will be back on and then ask why.
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Under Manhattan? Are you kidding? Think "Bathtub wall" they had to build around the WTC to keep the Hudson out of the basement before construction could begin.
Most of Manhattan South of Houston St, is landfill, and all of Battery Park City is built at water level on top of the WTC's excavation material.
Thousands of transmission cables are buried underwater. And despite what is visable on telephome poles, most communications cables are buried as well.

I know why. Her underground distribution is fed from overhead somewhere else, and that somewhere else is in shambles. Are you suggesting that had her power been overhead and exposed, she'd be lit now?
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