Moore, Oklahoma Toughens Building Codes for Future Tornado Incursions


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New residential building codes went into effect Thursday for one tornado-prone town.

The city of Moore, Oklahoma is taking preventive measures to protect the area from any further destructive damages incurred from tornadoes.

The city recently set in stone tough construction codes that will ensure every future home is built firmly to withstand winds up to 135 mph. This includes sturdy roof shields and wind-resistant garage doors.

The previous standard for the building code was 90 mph, which is mainly the same for all states nationwide.

But, as the first city in the country to ever take such action, residents have expressed how excited they are about the new code-especially following the tornado in May 2013 that still has families rebuilding their homes.

Last spring’s tornado-an EF-5 level-injured nearly 400 people and took the lives of 24 Moore residents.

One tornado victim told KFOR-TV how the storm has been very difficult to recover from the last 11 months.

“It was pretty tedious and I definitely don’t want to do it again,” Sarah Patteson said.

The University of Oklahoma is one of five universities in the National Science Foundation that helped develop 11 new building codes for the city. After extensive assessment of the ruined homes, researchers used engineering technology to come up with the best possible solution.

“This last tornado is over $2 billion in costs,” said Dr. Chris Ramseyer, associate professor of civil engineering at OU.  “And with better homes, stronger buildings, that destructive force will be minimized and the cost will be minimized.”

Ramseyer says the costs are a “small expense for the homeowner…one or two cents per dollar on a home.” However, this new code will only apply to those that have yet to start building a new home.

Moore, which has experienced similar, damaging twisters in 1999 and 2003, tends to be a center point where most catastrophic tornadoes occur in Oklahoma.

City officials hope that this new adoption will at least be the answer to “homes [being] safer and more durable for smaller, more frequent storms.”

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