Is Your Home at Risk for Tropical Winds?

Posted on Aug 04, 2017

An estimated two hundred thousand N.C. homes were not created to withstand hurricane winds due to out-of-date federal wind zone maps.

The maps are based on the 1970s data collected from a wind metric, which is a method the National Weather Service stopped using more than 20 years ago. Several homes built in North Carolina should have been made more substantial to "secure high winds that come with tropical storms." New maps reveal that houses located in counties near the coast are likely to receive more powerful winds than what previous maps have shown.

Installations and the cost of manufacturing for houses and single-wide homes would increase from $500-$2,000. Manufacturers believe there is no solid evidence for a need to change the current building practices.

Rick Mendlen, a structural engineer who has been employed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development since 1975 told the News and Observer: "Unfortunately, they did some cost analysis and at the end, the cost analysis didn't seem to support the view [that there was a need] to actually upgrade the standards."

Updating the weather maps would cause an increase to homes because they would require a higher wind standard. Brad Lovin, the executive director of the N.C. Manufactured Housing Institute, claimed most people would not be able to afford housing if these updates were made.

"There is a certain amount of risk in any structure. In a catastrophic weather event, even some of the wealthiest people couldn't afford what it would take to keep you truly safe."

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