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What Exposure to use?

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This is the first time that I have had this one happen. I called the city of
Indio California to obtain the local wind load design criteria. I was told
that to use an 80-mph wind, but when I asked what exposure to use, the
Building Official responded with - "Your the engineer, you determine that!
Use a minimum of at least Exposure C."
There is quite a difference between Exposure C and D which has me worried.
The sign is a 25'-0" tall pole with a 60-s.f. (6'-0" high x 10'-0" wide)
sign. The sign occurs in a windy off the freeway, however, the freeway is
lined with trees intending to create a wind break. This prevents sand from
blowing over and building up on the freeway.
How can an engineer determine the specific wind load conditions for a very
specific site if the building official will not provide the information?

Any suggestions? The sign is for an Auto Body Repair store located on the
road running parallel to the freeway. The area is open with industrial
buildings close by, but the area is open for miles.

Dennis S. Wish, PE
Structural Engineering Consultant
(208) 361-5447 E-Fax

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