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Old 12-01-2010, 12:05 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,190 posts, read 29,618,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
Don't you think states like Kansas and Oklahoma have more stringent building codes? Do custom built homes there experience less damage when a direct hit from an F1 or greater tornado happens? Of course not.
Georgia has some of the most slack regulations regarding builders in North America and it's been discussed on the news every so often. A couple of years ago a F1 hit the North Georgia area not far from Dahlonega and one of the homes looked like it had a direct hit from a F4, and they discussed the poor quality construction on the news at that time, too (lack of enough brackets in the attic, poorly secured to the foundation, among many other things). Since the company I work for deals with contractors as well, I can assure you... "short cuts" are taken liberally by many of them when building, too.

Of course a direct "hit" by a tornado will damage a home, but we need to rethink the typical salt box-ish building designs of homes that haven't changed much in literally hundreds of years. We can design homes now that help redirect strong winds, and in the case of the dome home designs, can even stand up to a direct hit from a minor tornado with only minor problems. Two to three story homes with large, flat, outer walls isn't exactly sturdy when hit by strong winds.

Either way, unless they change the F-rating on the Gwinnett storm, I think they'll still find out some of the damaged homes weren't build as well as they could have been.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:39 AM
 
221 posts, read 387,646 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ1972 View Post
This was less than 5 min from me. Most of you know me as the fam that moved from South Florida, and I was concerned about tornadoes here. Nice! Not!!!!
Hi fun mom, You said you are from south Florida? We live in Davie Florida now and are planing to move to the Atlanta area. my wife has this fare about tornado, So this weather yesterday only helps to delay our decision to move from south Florida in the spring of 2011. any advice? and where are you in Atlanta? thanks.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,844 posts, read 14,536,921 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg30127 View Post
Georgia has some of the most slack regulations regarding builders in North America and it's been discussed on the news every so often. A couple of years ago a F1 hit the North Georgia area not far from Dahlonega and one of the homes looked like it had a direct hit from a F4, and they discussed the poor quality construction on the news at that time, too (lack of enough brackets in the attic, poorly secured to the foundation, among many other things). Since the company I work for deals with contractors as well, I can assure you... "short cuts" are taken liberally by many of them when building, too.

Of course a direct "hit" by a tornado will damage a home, but we need to rethink the typical salt box-ish building designs of homes that haven't changed much in literally hundreds of years. We can design homes now that help redirect strong winds, and in the case of the dome home designs, can even stand up to a direct hit from a minor tornado with only minor problems. Two to three story homes with large, flat, outer walls isn't exactly sturdy when hit by strong winds.

Either way, unless they change the F-rating on the Gwinnett storm, I think they'll still find out some of the damaged homes weren't build as well as they could have been.
I'm sure shortcuts are/were taken in most places, especially during the boom years when homes were going up quickly and by the hundreds.

My point was just that a tornado is not like a hurricane. A tornado affects a very small path and generally only affects houses or other objects directly in its path. How often do we see pictures of a destroyed home next door to an untouched home, simply due to the path of the tornado? They were both probably built by the same builder and may be "cookie cutter" in design. The key is the path of the tornadao. A hurricane affects a much wider area and a better built home may withstand higher winds or flying debris better.

Now, as far as the home quality....I'm not here to debate it and have not inspected homes here. I can tell you that I would much rather have a home built here today than the 140 year old home I owned in New England. That home had 2x6 joists (among other things) which was standard for that period, but it limited what I could have for furniture and I had several cracked joists that had to be sistered to 2x10s. Point being that LVLs and manufactured I-joists and newer construction methods are still better than the old ones. Is the drywall finishing a bit sloppy in places, sure....but that won't affect the structure. My home inspector found no issues with the trusses in the attic or other critical structures.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:39 AM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,112 posts, read 5,136,620 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg30127 View Post
Georgia has some of the most slack regulations regarding builders in North America and it's been discussed on the news every so often. A couple of years ago a F1 hit the North Georgia area not far from Dahlonega and one of the homes looked like it had a direct hit from a F4, and they discussed the poor quality construction on the news at that time, too (lack of enough brackets in the attic, poorly secured to the foundation, among many other things). Since the company I work for deals with contractors as well, I can assure you... "short cuts" are taken liberally by many of them when building, too.

Of course a direct "hit" by a tornado will damage a home, but we need to rethink the typical salt box-ish building designs of homes that haven't changed much in literally hundreds of years. We can design homes now that help redirect strong winds, and in the case of the dome home designs, can even stand up to a direct hit from a minor tornado with only minor problems. Two to three story homes with large, flat, outer walls isn't exactly sturdy when hit by strong winds.

Either way, unless they change the F-rating on the Gwinnett storm, I think they'll still find out some of the damaged homes weren't build as well as they could have been.

You know I believe this. Florida should serve as a model as home building codes went excessively in the other direction after Andrew and more recently in the early 2000s. Most new construction must be built with concrete block or something similar, advanced roof tie downs, impact windows, in certain areas hurricane shutters, and it even gets down into the nitty gritty like wiring and interior wall construction. In FL we actually get in addition to hurricanes very many windstorms/strong thunderstorms (seems to me much more frequently than Atlanta), and we even get a lot of EF0-EF2 tornadoes (rarely the big guys, though in recent years that has changed, too). Of course housing prices in FL are much more expensive, and part of that stems from better construction. GA does lead FL in prevention of mobile home parks/damage of mobile homes as there are certainly not very many in the state. I don't understand how a state with such strict building codes could allow so many mobile homes (I'm referring to FL).
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:41 PM
 
1,120 posts, read 2,227,162 times
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I was just watching Glen Burns and David Chandley on WSB, and the tornado in Buford was an F-2 tornado. I guess the winds for an F-2 tornado are between something like 111-130 mph.

The damage is quite extensive for around 60 homes and the estimated losses are around $5 million. But that estimate is expected to go up.

The Buford area was under a tornado watch but not a tornado warning. Apparently this storm was a little unique and WSB's current weather radar couldn't detect the tornado. But WSB will be upgrading their weather radar in a short period of time, and this type of storm will be detectable in the future.

I had my patio door open yesterday and the humidity was unreal. I had several shirts on my bed and they were so damp. I've never seen my clothes that damp.

When Glen Burns said yesterday afternoon that it was 73 degrees south of Atlanta and only in the 50s in the northern parts of Atlanta, you could have guessed something big was going to happen.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Hampton, GA
8 posts, read 12,354 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
I'm sure shortcuts are/were taken in most places, especially during the boom years when homes were going up quickly and by the hundreds.

My point was just that a tornado is not like a hurricane. A tornado affects a very small path and generally only affects houses or other objects directly in its path. How often do we see pictures of a destroyed home next door to an untouched home, simply due to the path of the tornado? They were both probably built by the same builder and may be "cookie cutter" in design. The key is the path of the tornadao. A hurricane affects a much wider area and a better built home may withstand higher winds or flying debris better.

Now, as far as the home quality....I'm not here to debate it and have not inspected homes here. I can tell you that I would much rather have a home built here today than the 140 year old home I owned in New England. That home had 2x6 joists (among other things) which was standard for that period, but it limited what I could have for furniture and I had several cracked joists that had to be sistered to 2x10s. Point being that LVLs and manufactured I-joists and newer construction methods are still better than the old ones. Is the drywall finishing a bit sloppy in places, sure....but that won't affect the structure. My home inspector found no issues with the trusses in the attic or other critical structures.
Here's a news flash for you. Comparing a huricane to a tornado is comparing a shove to a karate chop. Huricane codes are developed to resist winds in the 100+mph range over a long duration. Tornados can exceed 300mph in a brief span of time in a highly focused area.
April 18, 1998 an F5 with winds in excess of 300mph destroyed the home I grew up in, my parents were in the home at the time. It had a 26 mile path a half a mile wide. This was the Oak Grove, AL storm that killed 34 people, many of them friends of mine. My parents thankfully came through bruised and beaten but unharmed physically.
I'm a former home builder with over a decade in the trade and since then have gone over and over in my mind just how to build a structure to resist what I saw on the ground that night and I just don't see how it can be done short of a reinforced concrete bunker. Yes, codes do need to be tightened and steps taken to minimize damage but coming through unscathed from a direct hit, doubtful. Maybe tighter codes will save lives and make the F0-1 less damaging but the fact remains the force that can rip an eight foot diameter tulip poplar from the ground and render it into toothpicks scattered completely up and over a one hundred foot ridge is going to do some damage. I saw that with my own eyes.
While I am on the subject of how quick this stormed moved and the strange things it did. The house my parents were in completely lost it's roof. The roof was ripped from the walls and was never seen again, it was scattered to the winds all 2600sq feet of it. The front wall came down, the front porch red iron lintel and all attached brick ten foot worth passed directly over the fallen interior wall that my father was under and was deposited on the kitchen table. The upper cabinets in the kitchen were found in the garage upright and with only one broken glass. Other than the one interior loadbearing wall, that fell on my father, the front picture window and the outer garage wall all other walls still stood. The strange thing was that not a picture was missing from any of these standing walls. Go figure. Even stranger things, the home and the pasture directly behind it plus a pasture three quarters of a mile up the road were in the direct path of the storm and between the two pastures we had thirteen head of cattle. Four calves at the house and eight cows and a bull in the other. The night of the storm on my walk in (I could only get to within a mile of the house and had to walk in) I was able to do a head count of the nine. At the house the four calves were nowhere to be found, I figured I'd find them piled up under a tree dead somewhere. Now you have to have seen these pastures. The ground looked like one big pincushion with shards of trees and telephone poles driven into the ground, shallow angle as if they were traveling horizontal, so deep that two men could not pull them out. These shards were giant splinters that looked like javelins.
Somehow, some way all thirteen came through without a scratch. The four youngsters showed up the next morning at feed time like nothing had happened. This was during a storm that killed humans all around them!
Someone please explain that to me. I've fooled with animals since a young age and this mystery will baffle me to my dying day.
BTW, of the houses on each side one lost part of it's roof when a large pine came down on it and the other appeared unharmed save for the loss of some windows, upon inspection the entire roof had been torn loose and moved a total of one inch. Explain that. The single wide across the road had one piece of the corner tin slighty bent back.
There's alot we still don't know about tornados.
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Last edited by atlantagreg30127; 12-01-2010 at 10:18 PM..
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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^WOW, David! What an unbelievable, life-changing event that had to have been. So glad your parents made it through.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,844 posts, read 14,536,921 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David McLeod View Post
Here's a news flash for you. Comparing a huricane to a tornado is comparing a shove to a karate chop. Huricane codes are developed to resist winds in the 100+mph range over a long duration.
I know...I never compared them. I contrasted them. Big difference.

My whole point, which was obviously missed, is that a tornado is a very violent but localized event that's over in seconds. Wind speeds can reach well in excess of 200 mph and usually in a vortex. Any home, no matter how well built, will be damaged by a tornado if the home is in the tornado's path.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:29 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,112 posts, read 5,136,620 times
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I'm watching Storm Chasers on Discovery right now. They have made some really awesome discoveries about tornadoes the past 4 or so years. I'm sorry for your loss and I agree mitigating disaster from an EF-5 tornado is next to impossible, but the chances of one of these hitting your house is very slim. The chances of a strong microburst, straight-line winds, remnants of a strong/fast-moving hurricane, or a smaller tornado up to EF-2 in strength hitting your home at some point are very real, and it is relatively easy to prevent damage in these instances.

Frankly I am surprised that insurance companies even insure poorly built subdivision homes or mobile homes. Not only should GA code be brought up at least a little (probably not to FL levels which is arguably overkill), but insurance companies should have tougher requirements to even get insurance (and not just on the wind/storm front).
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Hampton, GA
8 posts, read 12,354 times
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Life changing in more ways than you can imagine. My girlfriend at the time (I was a shameless pig treating her more like a friend with benefits than the lovely lady that she is) refused to let me drive to my parents in that storm. If I had I would have driven into the heart of it. Once we realized the total devastation and I was unable to contact my family she drove me to keep me from doing something stupid, it took an hour to do what was ordinarily a twenty minute drive. This gal had never met my family as I was a total pig at that time. So this was her trial by fire and for the five days that it took to get my parents and what belongings that we could salvage into new housing she never left my side and was like a daughter to my parents. So exactly one year later on April 18, 1999 I did just that and made her their daughter in law. In one regard that stinking tornado was the best thing that ever happened to me.
BTW, mom and dad came out good too. They had replacement insurance on everything and got a 3500 sq foot home built on the backside of the original property for only 40k out of their pocket. Momma got her custom cabinets and the kitchen of her dreams hardwood throughout and her boys kept Dad off her back while she got it. LOL
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Last edited by atlantagreg30127; 12-01-2010 at 10:19 PM..
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