...Washington, D.C. Ingargiola oversaw FEMAs mitigation assessment team, which included code, construction and engineering experts, that rolled out in Charley's wake.
Team member Scott Tezak, a Boston-based structural engineer and program manager with URS Corp., says dislodged HVAC condensers and electrical equipment blown off mountings contributed considerable debris. He says there may be a need for code revisions to improve the securing of such equipment.
Tezak who presented a report on damage to residential structures, said the team observed that shutters, whose use is becoming widespread, and new manufactured homes, performed well, but found significant damage to older manufactured homes, carports, sheds, and screen enclosures.
One dramatic image presented showed two similar three-story homes located near each other in the path of Charley. One home had shutters and the other did not. The roof blew off the house without shutters. "If you dont have shutters and you get internal pressurization it can lead to failures," Tezak explained.
Most of the structural failures the team found in residential communities were to wood structures. Aluminum structuresin the form of additions and outbuildingscontributed significantly to the amount of debris.
Tezak says sheathing and soffit failures contributed to widespread roof damage. Tiles and shingles also showed significant damage similar to that observed after Hurricane Andrew, which hit Florida in 1992. Tezak says Spanish tile has picked up the nickname "Spanish missiles" as a result of the high incidence of windblown tile-induced damage. Metal roofs performed well according to Tezak.
"We saw a great inconsistency in the placement of [structural hurricane] clips," Tezak says of the components of systems that tie buildings together from roof to foundation.
Flying debris was the primary cause for window damage, and wind was the primary cause of door damage, he adds. Ingargiola said the FEMA assessment team's report on Hurricane Charley should be out by mid March. It will be issued as FEMA publication No. 488.