Inspectors ensure homes meet wind requirements - WSPA.com

Inspectors ensure homes meet wind requirements

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WASHINGTON, N.C. - In counties all across the East, homes must be built up to code. This includes being able to withstand a certain wind speed.

For counties inland like Pitt, Lenoir, Greene, Duplin, Washington, Beaufort and Bertie, homes are built to withstand 110 MPH winds.

Homes in Craven, Jones, Tyrell, and portions of Hyde, Onslow and Pamlico are built to withstand 120 MPH winds.

Counties closest to the shore, including Dare, Carteret, and portions of Onslow, Hyde and Pamlico, must have homes built to withstand 130 MPH winds. Homes within 1500 feet of the shore must be approved by an engineer.

These regulations are in place primarily for winds expected when hurricanes make landfall. Billy Grizzard, the Pitt County Chief Building Inspector, says tornadoes are a different animal.

"If a tornado hits just about anything, it's going to destroy it," Grizzard said.

Many areas hit hard by tornadoes in Beaufort County were mobile homes. Grizzard says these types of properties are even more vulnerable to winds.

"If it's a mobile home, find shelter somewhere else," he said.

Linda Watson is one of the tornado victims in Beaufort County. Although her home suffered only minor damage, her RV was flipped upside down and trees fell on two cars in her driveway. She says she is lucky to be alive.

"I just feel like I'm in a tin can in it," Watson said. "I mean, I don't think it will go through another storm."

After the last round of tornadoes, she says counties in the East should try to build stronger homes that can sustain higher winds.

"I think they should raise it because, I mean, just the way it totaled the homes. It's like it was just a can and it just tore it apart," she said.




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