The Eastern Seaboard may be wiped from existence this week, but…

…the odds keep improving for Big Brother. That hurricane that’s still scouring the Bahamas has paused as if in a desire to do a good job of it, but they’ve been predicting for two days that it will take a right turn and not do the same to BB’s house. He has a Cat 4-rated house with lots of improvements*, but if it picks up its wind speed again and does touch the south Florida coast he’ll be elsewhere in a more hardened shelter.


* However you might curse the building codes anywhere else in the continental U.S. you might live, you haven’t dealt with building codes until you’ve dealt with south Florida building codes. As much as I normally enjoy denouncing busybody government regulations, there’s a good reason for them in this case.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to The Eastern Seaboard may be wiped from existence this week, but…

  1. Beans says:

    The building codes involved in retrofitting old buildings are pretty darned astounding.

    But… as you said, they do make sense.

    Tying the roof to the frame. Yeah, good idea.

    Making big plate glass windows hurricane (and, by curious coincidence, hoodlum) resistant (to 180 mph winds in some places.) Yeah, good idea.

    Things like that do make long-term economic sense. Just was painful to go through during the retrofitting period…

    I, personally, think Dorian is heading towards Martha’s vinyard to ruin someone’s real estate purchase…

  2. Mark Matis says:

    One can only hope and pray, Beans!

  3. Sendarius says:

    When my parents built their house (literally, with their own hands), the local authority was insistent that the roof be tied to the foundations with 20mm steel j-rods less than one metre apart, hooked into the concrete foundation’s reinforcing steel and running up through the walls, then bolted to the roof plates.

    The reason for the requirement? Because it is in category 1 earth quake zone

    Dad was unimpressed, “Do they think an earthquake will make the roof fall UP?”

    Despite several tremblors in the area, none of the two feet thick hand-laid stone walls showed any cracking – and the roof stayed on.

  4. Scott says:

    I lived in Florida for a while in the ’70s when I was in high school. The house was a basic Florida house-a concrete block box sitting on a slab. the blocks were poured, and steel cables secured the roof to the concrete block walls. Steel shutters could be closed over the windows. I think a tropical storm or two with maybe 60 to 80 mph winds ( no hurricanes), hit the place, with no damage. Don’t try riding a bike in 70 mph winds..yes, I tried it. Bad idea.

  5. Robert says:

    We have friggin’ tornadoes with none of the sissy-ass building codes. Must be why people keep sayin’ god spared ’em when they don’t die. I ever build a house, it’s gonna be reinforced to Zombie Apocalypse Standards.

  6. Norman says:

    I had occasion to see, up close and personal, the aftermath of Andrew in 1992; it was Andrew that drove the massive changes in Florida’s building code. Before 1995 there was a “coastal code” and an “inland code” under the assumption that a house 30 miles from the ocean didn’t need to be built as strong. SURPRISE !

    Interestingly, in one section of Homestead the only houses still completely intact were constructed by Habitat for Humanity; everything else suffered moderate to complete damage. Remembering looking out over what had been a housing development but had become mostly bare concrete slabs, I’m not convinced the 1995 code upgrades went far enough, and I’m damn sure there’s not nearly enough enforcement of contractor compliance with the codes.

To the stake with the heretic!