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Old 03-12-2007, 08:21 AM
 
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How often does this area get bad weather? I am talking about tornados, hail storms, etc. My husband is very paranoid about tornados and the fact that none of the houses we have seen on the market have tornado shelters. I was also curious about why houses have no basements- are you guys in a flood area?
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Old 03-12-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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This topic gets covered frequently on this forum. The very fact that homes here don't have tornado shelters should indicate how much of a threat they are in the area. Hail storms are a different discussion, the spring time weather around here can be unstable and you will run a measurable risk of sustaining damage to your car or to the roof of your home due to hail, but I wouldn't exactly say it's a foregone conclusion. Regardless, that's what insurance is for.

When Fort Worth was bargaining with Mother Nature, it said "You throw out the hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, mudslides and the like, and we'll take the thunderstorms in the spring." Seems like a fair deal to me.

I don't know exactly why we don't have basements here, I've heard various reasons for it. I've always been of the opinion that we don't have them because you don't need the benefit of warmth and insulation provided by the earth like you would further north. If you don't need it, and it costs more to build, then why do it?
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:12 PM
 
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I lived in the DFW area for 6 years before moving to TN. Experienced one moderate hailstorm that left 4 or 5 small pings in my truck, and several little hailstorms where the hail was only pea sized, which is harmless other than its a little noisy when its hitting a tin roof, lol.

I saw a tornado once while I was working near the Arlington/Ft Worth line. It had touched down south of Arlington, then picked up and touched down a second time near 820 and I30. Was pretty wild to see it, but it was a very breif duration and fortunately just an F1, so the damage was bad, but not severe.

So out of 6 years there was twice where I was in weather that was a little bumpy. I didn't ever feel like it was something to be overly concerned about.

As far as shelters, no, not many homes have them, but you can have a safe room built in your home pretty reasonably priced that has reinforced walls. Not sure about having them put in existing homes though. I honestly wouldn't be too worried though.
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
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It's my understanding that there are no basements because of the soil here in North Texas. It's shifty, and the lack of rain and then a large increase in rain irritates this situation and the walls of a basement would more than likely collapse. I recently read that some of the more expensive homes being built in the area are having basements built. I'm supposing modern technology is more a result of that than anything. As for "worrying" about tornadoes; I've lived in Oklahoma and Texas all my life and have never been worried, nor adversely affected. It's like tree bass said..
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Old 03-12-2007, 03:14 PM
 
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Yea- I figured that if there weren't any shelters, there probably wasn't much need for them. I think DH just wants one because they seem cool ...I guess.
Synopsis- interesting reason for not having basements. I suppose that makes sense.
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
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I think what tnbound said about safe rooms is a good idea, if you're having a home built. IMO, 5 or 10k to have a safe room built is good insurance, and might even get you a discount of some sort or another. I'm from Oklahoma, and most homes up there in the country have storm cellars, or they did when I was a kid.
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Deep In The Heat Of Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damiana9 View Post
How often does this area get bad weather? I am talking about tornados, hail storms, etc. My husband is very paranoid about tornados and the fact that none of the houses we have seen on the market have tornado shelters. I was also curious about why houses have no basements- are you guys in a flood area?

I know everyone has their own view about tornadoes but I, for one, have a storm cellar. I had it but in after the Jarrell, Texas tornado, a rarity so they say that killed many people. It was an F5 and totally blew homes off foundations, ripped up asphalt streets, etc. It was a humdinger!! I live in central Texas where statistics shows tornadoes are fewer here than in Fort Worth (Tarrant County).

The Fort Worth area historical tornado activity is above Texas state average. It is 221% greater than the overall U.S. average. In the past 56 years, Tarrant County as only had 76 tornadoes, not too bad, I guess.

It isn't cool, so to speak, to have a storm cellar, but it does give one peace of mind during severe weather. My neighbors enjoy my cellar too, and it was well worth the investment.

I can relate to your DH's concern about tornadoes. They are a very real threat, so I totally disagree that because there aren't many cellars that there isn't a need for them. Most people use a center room in the house, a bathroom, hall, closet, etc. during a bad storm. There is protection in doing so, but it won't help much if one hits like in Jarrell or many other places in Texas.

Tornadoes can happen any time of the year, but the Spring is usually the most active time. We had an outbreak in Central Texas on December 29 where there were 20 spotted. Only one killed a person but much damage was done in Limestone, Hill, Bosque, Coryell, and Johnson Counties. The Prez and his wife were at there ranch near Crawford (McLennan County) and had to take cover although none touched down in that county.

I was actually out shopping that day and had to pull over twice and take cover in a business establishment because of the bad weather. We were taken to the stockroom for extra safety because of so many glass windows in the front of the stores.

Tarrant County has had 677 hail events in the past 56 years, so yes, there are more hailstorms than tornadoes.

I would definitely be careful before choosing property because many places can flood, nothing severe probably, just a royal pain in the neck and a house full of mud. I made the mistake when I moved here to buy on a creek. No one told us it was notorious for flooding and although it only flooded the house once, it was a thorn in my side for years. It was weird because our home was the only one on the block to flood. Needless to say, I finally moved.
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Old 03-13-2007, 08:24 AM
 
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KewGee- wow, thanks for all those statistics! If you don't mind me asking- how much did it cost to put the storm cellar in?
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Deep In The Heat Of Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damiana9 View Post
KewGee- wow, thanks for all those statistics! If you don't mind me asking- how much did it cost to put the storm cellar in?
No, I don't mind at all telling you the cost of the storm cellar. It was in 1997 and the price was a tad over $4,000; I think it was $4,200.

It is a one-pour cement job and measures 10' x 10'. The steel door is tightly shut, so there aren't any worries about snakes making their way inside. At least in 10 years, none ever have.

It does get a few bugs like spiders and such, and I've seen some tiny lizards but to me, they're cute (the lizards). They remind me of the cutie on the Geico Insurance commercials.

Once a year, I spray for bugs and thoroughly clean it because it can get dusty and leaves do blow in when the door is open.



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Old 03-14-2007, 05:57 PM
 
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Default tornadoes

Hi everyone! I realize tornadoes are a big threat throught the d/fw area. The tornadoes always seem to stay on the tarrentcounty side of the metroplex. Fort Worth has had major tornadoes, though dallas' last big one was in 1957. One of the main reasons there are not many shelters here is because of the soil. If you live in thee metroplex, there is a chance of tornadoes, though they seem to be more likley on the tarrent county side.

goodbye!
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