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RE: Wind damaged residences in Kansas

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One of the problems with wind failures is one of perception.  Tornadoes and
microbursts generally effect a very small land area.  Earthquakes effect a
much larger area.  The perception of wind failures is that the design wind
speed is exceeded in a tornado or microburst when in fact that they rarely
exceed the design wind speed, but still cause failures.

Harold Sprague
The Neenan Company

-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis S. Wish PE [mailto:wish(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Saturday, November 14, 1998 2:16 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Cc: REACH List
Subject: RE: Wind damaged residences in Kansas

Roger, you are probably correct, but it seems strange that the majority of
concern occurs in regions of high seismic activity while Wind is just as
easily a threat that deserves attention.
My point was that these issues are now being addressed. It may have been
motivated by the Insurance industry, but it is a concern.

I have code upgrade coverage to my policy and I agree with you. Code upgrade
has been a continuous fight after Northridge - Insurance companies wanted to
cover only compliance to the level the structure was built years ago.
Building officials were reluctant to allow a "patch" type repair until the
City of Los Angeles developed emergency measures to insure that damage
repair was done in compliance with new ordinances. This probably put most
Insurance coverage in an awkward position since a simple repair was not
necessarily compliant in each city.
I felt it was prudent to have the additional coverage.


-----Original Message-----
From: Roger Turk [mailto:73527.1356(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Saturday, November 14, 1998 12:24 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Wind damaged residences in Kansas

Dennis Wish wrote:

. > Seismic Zone also has a lot to do with it. Engineers design in Zones 3
. > and 4 more often than they are required to do in Zone 0,1,or 2. This is
. > because little historic damage had occurred in high wind areas until
. > recently.
. >

This is not true!  Every summer (most of our stronger winds occur during the
summer rainy season) we have numerous damage, both residential and
commercial, from wind, and we are not considered a "high wind" area.  This
past summer, 17 consecutive telephone poles were blown down in a wind storm.
Thirty years ago, photos of wind damage appeared in the paper that showed
curtains sticking out of a house between the rafters and the wall plate and
similar damage occurs every summer.

What happens is that whenever this happens, someone always says that it
"sounded like a tornado" although they probably had never heard a tornado.
And *everyone knows* that you can't design to prevent tornado damage.
Besides, wind damage is covered by insurance.

BTW, speaking of insurance, how many of you have "codes and ordinance"
endorsements on your homeowners/business insurance?  This is an endorsement
that will pay the additional amount to repair damage in compliance with
current code and ordinance requirements, rather than to just pay to replace
the damage as it existed and you having to cough up the rest to have it
comply with code.  Check it out with your insurance agent!  You'll be
surprised about how inexpensive it is.  (My codes and ordinance endorsement
cost an additional $25.00 a year and provided for up to an additional 50
percent of the damage cost to have the repair comply with current codes and
ordinances.  It is not tied to the value of the house.)

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona