Last year's devastating hurricane season was a wake-up call for home builders and homeowners alike. According to one survey, the storms damaged one out of every 10 houses, apartments and manufactured homes. The storms left in their wake not only shocking destruction, but also a lesson about the importance of hurricane-resistant design and construction. In the aftermath, researchers from the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing PATH studied how houses withstood the storms as well as the kinds of damage the houses suffered. On-site evaluations of the affected houses, survey information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and independent investigations sponsored by the Florida Home Builders Association yielded some surprising conclusions:.
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Bob visits two homes in the same neighborhood, one that was completely destroyed by Hurricane Charley in August , the other that was built to exceed hurricane codes and was left unscathed by hurricane winds and water from the same storm.
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With peak accumulations of Rapid weakening then ensued, and Harvey had downgraded to a tropical storm as it stalled near the coastline, dropping torrential and unprecedented amounts of rainfall over Texas. In addition to the huge cost and extent of the damage it caused, Harvey caused at least confirmed deaths: 1 in Guyana and in the United States, the first one in Rockport, Texas.
It made a second landfall on the Texas mainland, at Rockport, three hours later in a slightly weakened state. Harvey became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in For about two days the storm stalled just inland, dropping very heavy rainfall and causing widespread flash flooding. Harvey's center drifted back towards the southeast, ultimately re-emerging into the Gulf of Mexico on August Once offshore, the poorly organized system struggled against strong wind shear.
Deep convection persisted north of the cyclone's center near the Houston metropolitan area along a stationary front , resulting in several days of record-breaking rain. At that time, a tropical storm watch was posted for Dominica , while a tropical storm warning became in effect in Barbados , Martinique , Saint Lucia , and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The agency placed disaster response teams on standby at emergency posts in Austin, Texas , and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Additionally, a storm surge watch became in effect from Port Mansfield to High Island.
Additionally, a voluntary evacuation was ordered in Vermilion Parish for low-lying areas south of State Highway Comments from the White House begin at Comments by the Governor of Texas. Flooding washed one house off its foundation, while water entered some houses, forcing some people to evacuate.
Bridges in Saint Andrew and Saint Joseph were damaged. Additionally, a fuel depot in Speightstown was flooded. Winds from Harvey ripped the roof off a church. Also, a tree fell on a school, damaging the building. Strong winds and heavy rainfall also affected Suriname and Guyana.
In the former, high winds in the capital city of Paramaribo caused roof damage to the Presidential Palace and two homes, while the Torarica Hotel and Casino suffered structural impact.
Additionally, four dwellings were deroofed in Commewijne and three others lost their roofs in Wanica ; in the latter, the Ministry of Social Affairs building was damaged by falling trees. In Guyana, the village of Jawalla bore the brunt of the storm. Four homes were demolished, while five other residences and two shops were damaged. Several public buildings were also damaged, including the community center, the village council buildings, the nursery, and public schools.
A year-old woman died after her house collapsed on her. The widespread and catastrophic effects of Hurricane Harvey resulted in one of the costliest natural disasters in United States history. This ranks Harvey as the costliest tropical cyclone on record in the country alongside Hurricane Katrina in However, accounting for inflation and cost increases since , the National Hurricane Center considers Harvey the second-costliest. Of the deaths in Texas, 68 were from the direct effects of Harvey, the highest such number in the state since Throughout the state, people died in storm-related incidents: 68 from its direct effects, including flooding, and 35 from indirect effects in the hurricane's aftermath.
Panicked motorists waited in long lines. Consequently, gas stations through the state were forced to close due to the rush. Nearly businesses were damaged as well. The city's courthouse was severely damaged when a cargo trailer was hurled into it, coming to a stop halfway through the structure. The gymnasium of the Rockport-Fulton High School lost multiple walls while the school itself suffered considerable damage.
Numerous boats were damaged or sunk at a marina in town, airplanes and structures were destroyed at the Aransas County Airport, and a Fairfield Inn in the city was severely damaged as well.
Multiple flash flood emergencies were issued in the Houston area by the National Weather Service beginning the night of August In Pearland, a suburb south of Houston, a report was made of 9. Hobby Airport. Both airports eventually closed. On August 28, the U. Army Corps of Engineers began controlled water releases from Addicks and Barker Reservoirs in the Buffalo Bayou watershed in an attempt to manage flood levels in the immediate area.
According to the local Corps commander, "It's going to be better to release the water through the gates directly into Buffalo Bayou as opposed to letting it go around the end and through additional neighborhoods and ultimately into the bayou. Only the critical mission control staff remain and reside in the control rooms to monitor procedures of the International Space Station. Anyone who chooses to not [evacuate] cannot expect to be rescued and should write their social security numbers in permanent marker on their arm so their bodies can be identified.
The loss of life and property is certain. The Beaumont—Port Arthur metropolitan area also experienced torrential precipitation, including Hundreds of displaced residents went to the Robert A. Water entered at least several hundreds of homes in Jefferson County.
Heavy rainfall extended eastward into Louisiana, with the state recording up to The tornado also damaged fences, a motorcycle, a pickup truck, and toppled three electrical poles. Rain-slicked roads were blamed for two fatal accidents in Arkansas. A possible tornado in Lamar County near Kennedy caused damage to trees and roofs. One indirect death occurred in Memphis due to a weather-related head-on collision of a car and a tractor trailer on Interstate On September 1, the outer bands of Harvey's remnants passed through North Carolina.
Severe weather was reported across the central part of the state. In Willow Spring, hail larger than softballs damaged homes and cars. Flash flooding hit Greenville further east. The Eagle Ford Rock Formation shale oil and gas in southern Texas reduced production by , to , bpd , according to the Texas Railroad Commission. Many energy-related ports and terminals closed, delaying about fourteen crude oil tankers.
About 2. Two ExxonMobil refineries had to be shut down following related storm damage and releases of hazardous pollutants. On August 30, the CEO of Arkema warned one of its chemical plants in Crosby, Texas , could explode or be subject to intense fire due to the loss of "critical refrigeration" of materials.
Eight of the plant's nine refrigeration units failed without power, enabling the stored chemicals to decompose and become combustible. Due to the shutdown in refineries, gas prices did see an increase nationwide. Hinch has stated in an interview that the team wasn't just playing for a title, but to help boost moral support for the city.
It was originally scheduled for September 2 at the Alamodome in San Antonio and was ultimately canceled. Athletic events were rescheduled as far away as Kentucky , where the storm's remnants were expected to cause heavy rains on September 1, interfering with Friday night high school football. He cited looting as the primary reason for the curfew. Texas Governor Greg Abbott deployed the state's entire National Guard for search and rescue, recovery, and clean up operations due to the devastating damage caused by the storm and resulting floods.
The George R. The NRG Center opened as a large public shelter accordingly. The Cajun Navy , an informal organization of volunteers with boats from Louisiana, deployed to Texas to assist in high-water rescues.
The Houston Independent School District announced that all students on any of the district's campuses would be eligible for free lunch throughout the —18 school year. A significant portion of the storm's damages are uninsured losses.
Many corporations also contributed to relief efforts. Operation BBQ relief had the help from several local individuals and businesses kick off the support of providing meals for volunteers and victims. Smokers, pallets of wood, and another company came up with the pounds of pork to kick off the support effort. Operation BBQ relief vendors volunteering for the Houston flood relief estimates that they will serve at least , meals. Singapore dispatched Boeing CH Chinook helicopters from the Republic of Singapore Air Force to areas affected by the hurricane for humanitarian operations, working alongside the Texas National Guard.
The floodwaters contain a number of hazards to the environment and human health. The Houston Health Department stated that "millions of contaminants" were present in floodwaters. Houston officials stated that the Houston drinking water and sewer systems were intact; however, "hundreds of thousands of people across the 38 Texas counties affected by Hurricane Harvey use private wells, according to an estimate by Louisiana State University researchers, and those people must fend for themselves.
On April 11, , at the 40th session of the RA IV hurricane committee, the World Meteorological Organization retired the name Harvey from its rotating name lists, due to the extensive damage and loss of life it caused along its track, particularly in the state of Texas, and its name will never again be used for another Atlantic hurricane. It will be replaced with Harold for the season. Houston is located in the southeastern United States on the Gulf Coastal Plain , and its clay -based soils provide poor drainage.
The climate of Houston brings very heavy rainfall annually in between April to October, during the Texas Gulf Coast rainy season , together with tidal flood events, which have produced repeated floods in the city ever since its founding in , though the flood control district founded in , aided by the U. Army Corps of Engineers , managed to prevent statewide flooding for over fifty years.
The area is a very flat flood plain at shallow gradient, slowly draining rainwater through an intricate network of channels and bayous to the sea. The main waterways, the San Jacinto River and the Buffalo Bayou , meander slowly, laden with mud, and have little capacity for carrying storm water. Houston has seen rapid urban development urban sprawl , with absorbent prairie and wetlands replaced by hard surfaces which rapidly shed storm water, overwhelming the drainage capacity of the rivers and channels.
As Houston has expanded, rainwater infiltration in the region has lessened and aquifer extraction increased, causing the depletion of underground aquifers. When the saturated ground dries, the soil can be compressed and the land surface elevation decreases in a process called subsidence. Subsidence can also occur due to sediment settling. Specifically, regions to the north and west of the Houston metro have seen 10 millimetres 0.
Thus, oil extraction has not resulted in significant subsidence. The Gulf of Mexico is known for hurricanes in August, so their incidence alone cannot be attributed to global warming , but the warming climate does influence certain attributes of storms.
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Bob visits two homes in the same neighborhood, one that was completely destroyed by Hurricane Charley in August , the other that was built to exceed hurricane codes and was left unscathed by hurricane winds and water from the same storm. Scott Buescher of Mercedes Homes shows how enhanced building practices and technologies can create a storm-resistant home, while Lieutenant Governor Toni Jennings and Secretary of Community Affairs Thaddeus Cohen discuss rebuilding Florida.
The resulting foundation will resist water penetration from storm surge by allowing water to move around the foundation without encountering entry points.
Bob reviews the house plans with Scott Buescher of Mercedes Homes and learns how the house is constructed as an integrated system.
Building connections are emphasized and reinforced rebar and steel mesh are extended from the stem wall to the roof line in preparation for the solid concrete pour that will form the exterior walls.
One was built as the community's model home in In , it was completely destroyed by Hurricane Charley. The other was completed in and benefited from improved building codes and enhanced building practices. The house stands unscathed because updated building codes require that building connections be strengthened and because the homeowners chose to go beyond code to protect their home. According to Chapman Henderson, their house remains virtually undamaged because they chose to protect their windows, doors, and back of the home from wind and pressure.
Minardi describes riding out the storm in their demolished home as the roof blew off, furniture blew out, and windows blew in. Minardi stayed in a bathroom until the eye passed overhead, at which point he ventured out to see that the roof and windows were gone. He went to neighbors for shelter until the storm was over.
Fogolini and Minardi were unable to salvage anything from their home and now live in a trailer as they prepare for construction of a new, storm-resistant house. Buescher shows the house plans and layout for the Jacqueline model that has four bedrooms, a two-car garage, a central kitchen with a family room and breakfast nook, a combination dining and living area, and a master suite.
The house will have many hurricane-resistant features, including the solid wall system made of concrete reinforced with steel bar and steel mesh. The roof system will also be designed to resist hurricane-strength winds. It will be built with engineered trusses that are tied down with hurricane straps wet set into the concrete walls. When hurricanes strike again and again, as they did in Florida in , the effects are devastating. Bob Vila and crew work to completely rebuild a damaged house, using new standards for storm-ready housing.
Along the way, Bob investigates a home's vulnerabilities in extreme weather and learns why some building systems fail and others succeed. Episode 1 - Rebuilding to Beat a Hurricane. Episode 2 - Building a Reinforced Concrete House. Episode 3 - Building a Storm-Ready Roof. Episode 6 - Faux Columns and a Gunite Pool. Installing Stair Handrails and Balusters. Installing Wood Shingle Siding. Placing Hardwood Floors Over Concrete. Repairing Squeaky Wood Floors.
Eliminating Basement Moisture. Installing a Pocket Door. Drywall vs. Blueboard Explained. Pedestal Sink Installation. Sanding Wood Floors. Installing Baseboards and Window Casings. Building Winding Stairs. Recessed Lighting Installation. Putting Up Walls with Metal Studs.
Remodeling with a Wood Kitchen Countertop. Distressing Wood Beams. Working with PVC Pipe. Homes That Can Survive Hurricanes. Installing Rain Gutters. How to Strip Off Old Paint. Building a Pergola and Gate. Building a Patio with Stone Pavers. Hazardous Tree Removal. Laying Down a Cobblestone Driveway Apron.
Building a Trellis. Making a Wood Planter Box. Building a Flight of Wood Front Steps. Completing a Pine Porch Ceiling. Setting a Tree into the Patio. Shopping the Nursery with Martha Stewart. Exterior Painting with an Airless Sprayer. Installing New Garage Doors. Installing Exterior Lighting. Constructing a Potting Bench. Building a Porch Railing. Mounting Shutters on the Home Exterior. Retaining Wall Construction. Power-Washing Wood Siding.
Nathaniel Russell House Tour. Touring Vizcaya. See Frederick Law Olmsted's Backyard. Taking an Architectural Tour of Harvard Square. Tour of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Touring Boston's Burrage House. Robert Barnwell Rhett House Tour. Brooklyn Botanical Garden Tour. Touring the Naumkeag Historic House Gardens. Tour of the Gardens at The Mount. Touring a Japanese Garden. Tour of Drayton Hall in South Carolina. Tour of Middleton Place. Tour of Millford Plantation. Bob Vila Academy Make Things. We'll Help. Enroll now and learn DIY basics from the next generation of home improvement experts.