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Report on Tennessee Tornadoes Finds Homes With Little Updraft Resistance

Resilient Construction

Report on Tennessee Tornadoes Finds Homes With Little Updraft Resistance

By Peter Fabris April 23, 2020
Tornado vortex in the distance moving across flat landscape
Photo: Minerva Studio

A new report by the Structural Extreme Events Reconnaissance network (SEER) highlights inadequacies in the ability of Tennessee homes and schools to withstand strong tornadoes. The report found “glaring deficiencies in the load path to the foundation” of many homes following the storms.
The majority of homes rested on unreinforced (with some ungrouted) concrete masonry block stem walls with “little to no positive resistance to wind uplift forces.” Many of the damaged homes and schools could have potentially avoided destruction if the state had building codes that addressed this deficiency, the report says.
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