From the damage I estimate an F2-F3 tonado 2-3 miles from my home. A
total of 8 touched down in High Point last night.
Pictures from a nearby neighborhood:
It is amazing what can be left amid destruction -- I've seen sheet music
still on the piano at the page it was left when room walls/ceiling gone
NOAA has gone to an "enhanced Fujita" rating system -- same idea, just
updated estimates based on more detailed damage comparisons over time.
I'd guess this would equate to EF-2, not EF-3 or just barely 3-level.
(From tornado alley country...)
Agreed...fortunately, the house/farmstead has never suffered more than a
very tiny one that moved one silo (rotated it on foundation about a
foot) but they've been all around over the years.
And, btw, the previous post only intended as comment on the new rating
system; any are big enough to not want to mess with and certainly if one
takes _your_ house it's entirely too big... :(
Son the elder is in Raleigh but didn't seem too bad there last night;
just some t-storms. Didn't hear of any injuries, fortunately???
Season is just 'round the corner for us'ns...first thunder of spring
night before last (not counting the thunder snow of about a couple of
weeks earlier, anyway)...
Severe weather watcher annual training/refresher meetings/sessions
underway for storm spotters; think mine is next week---really ought to
double-check on that...
Glad you got through it. Those things do weird things. Wichita and
Andover Kansas was hit by an F5 during the early 90's that tore up
McConnell AFB, southeast Wichita and decimated the south part of
Andover. We watched it move across the southern horizon for 10-15
minutes before heading to the basement. It hit a friends house just
east of us and took one end out of the living area and removed two
walls from his garage shop. He never found his floor drill press and
his Unisaw was about three blocks from the house inside of another
house. His work bench was completely in tact. The mason jar full of
mineral spirits was on the bench, and the paint brushes he used a
couple of nights before were still hanging over the edge of his bench
beside his stale, half full coffee cup.
While we were helping clean up their mess, a neighbor walked over and
said "come over to our place. I want to show you something." His
house was moderately damaged but livable. He led us into laundry room
and said "Look in the dryer." I thought "What the hell!" But when I
opened the dryer door the engine head of a Ryobi weed eater was in the
dryer. The rest of it was sticking out through the back of the dryer
and the cutting head was protruding through the siding outside of the
house. We extracted the machine and it was in surprisingly good
I am really curious as to the effect of having hurricane ties and/or better
fasteners would have had on those houses. I know, you get hit hard enough,
almost nothing will standu up tothe force. But I saw houses that the second
story was removed. Would a stonger tie-in to the first story have prevented
The houses with the siding gone made me wonder if that would have happened
with screws? Maybe the wind would have just bent them all up.
I assume if big storms happen there that building codes would have been
strengthened recently. Older houses would not have the improvements.
Do folks have storm shelters around thre?
No storm shelters, but wish I had one now.
Well there ya go, your next project.
I can see it now, an internal gazebo like structure made from Ipe with teak
inlays. All the corners will be mitered half lap joints. Ya make it big
enough, use enough of that heavy tropical wood, the wind wouldn't dare blow
And you can make another video! ;-)
In 1988, a big one passed through Raleigh. It hit a Kmart on
Glenwood Ave, then skipped in a NE direction across town. The
closest it came to where we were living was about 1/2 mile, but it
split the distance between where we were living and the home we
were building. Talk about hurrying up the next AM and driving as
quickly as I could to the home under construction.
As it turned out, there was no damage to either our rental place
or the house we were building- thank goodness
It's not an elegant solution, but winner in the catagory of "easy,
inexpensive, and effective" is a 30-36" drain tile set vertically into
the ground with the "bell" end down. Pour a four-inch concrete floor
with a pair of rebar handles (think: fancy fox-hole). If you have small
fry, use a tile big enough to hold an adult holding a child. Make a
wooden lid to keep rain and critters (and kids) out when not in use.
If you never need it, the cost is small - but if you do need it, discard
the lid, jump in, grab a handle, and keep head(s) below ground level.
From this one, quite likely I'd say judging from the level of damage
(not terribly extensive, just serious).
The consequences have a lot to do w/ shape as well and I wondered on the
one of the second floor it it wasn't somewhat unusual initially--perhaps
not, but it made me wonder what it was initially.
Looked like vinyl -- it'll shred and tear w/ very little wind,
comparatively, irrespective of the fastener.
In general, they have very benign weather there -- generally far enough
inland to avoid worst of hurricanes and tornadoes are pretty uncommon.
One of the big things in high wind areas is the proper installation of
"shear walls" for resistance to lateral forces, aka wind and earthquakes
... we even have a separate inspection for that here, and it gets all
the way down to the nitty gritty of the nailing patterns on the
overlapping sheathing between the first and second floor exterior walls.
Most definitely something to take into consideration when designing a
structure, as every little bit or mitigation helps.
On Mon, 29 Mar 2010 20:33:38 -0500, the infamous Swingman
Most of those houses looked like they only lost pieces of roofing in
the center of the roof or room, rather than the top half of the house.
Most probably did have the hurricane ties in 'em. When windows got
hit and blew out, so did the roofs.
Do you use the Simpson Strong-Wall(tm) shear wall panels in those,
Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile I caught hell for.
-- Earl Warren
Actually, it's interesting in that often the very old survive better
than new as construction in the '20s often was much stouter than tract
housing of the post-war era which tended to get faster/cheaper
continuously until, as you suggest, changes in local Codes forced some
areas back into better-suited detailing (as Swing notes as well)...
I was prompted to add this note by his comment and the previous comment
on shape affecting damage as well as the age...
In the Greensburg, KS, EF-5, one of the strongest ever observed, it
completely flattened 95% of the entire town (path was dead-center of
town, 1-1/2 mile wide destructive funnel). The few dwelling structures
that did stand at all in the path were a handful small, square one-story
hip-roofed houses and a single 2-story expensively built '20s-era full
brick construction house that only lost a portion of roof and the add-on
It appears that the 4-sided roof shape of the small houses and their
small size was pretty effective in minimizing the damaging forces while
the brick walls were simply so stout as to keep walls intact even though
damage was extensive enough it was razed. The typical ranch-style was
simply flattened to the slab almost universally w/ only an occasional
exterior wall or tow here or there or the interior walls in some small
rooms/halls such as closets and/or bathrooms that had some initial
On Mon, 29 Mar 2010 19:13:46 -0400, "Lee Michaels"
A storm that can drive wheet straw right through a cedar hydro pole
can do just about anything it wants to - no matter WHAT you do.
Grey concrete bricks with pink fiberglass insulation imbedded ALL THE
WAY THROUGH, anyone???
That's just 2 interesting observations from the Woodstock Ontario
tornado back in the late '70s
It's possible to build reasonably priced houses that can survive
hurricanes with little damage. But if you want a house that will
survive an f4 tornado unscathed you're talking steel plate or heavy
reinforced concrete all around, pressure doors, and heavy laminated
bulleproof glass. The kind of place that nobody but the very rich could
afford, even as a rental.
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