Saturday, March 3, 2012


A great sadness.
HENRYVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Powerful storms leveled small towns in southern Indiana, transforming entire blocks of homes into piles of debris, tossing school buses into a home and a restaurant and causing destruction so severe it was difficult to tell what was once there. As night fell, dazed residents shuffled through town, some looking for relatives, while rescue workers searched the rubble for survivors.

At least 20 homes were ripped off their foundation ...

"We knew this was coming. We were watching the weather like everyone else," said Clark County, Ind., Sheriff Danny Rodden. "This was the worst case scenario. There's no way you can prepare for something like this."

I beg to differ, Dan. Not only can you "prepare for something like this," you oughta. How many more news stories of hurricanes and tornadoes will it take for something to click about the way "complete devastation" is always the result of inclement weather meeting buildings made of flimsy sticks?

Notice that the above news story mentions 20 homes "ripped off their foundation." That implies that the foundations stayed put; and further, an implication that concrete doesn't blow away. Have you ever heard of a basement blowing away? Just the flimsy sticks above a basement seem to blow away. But don't build your house out of concrete; just buy insurance and cross your fingers.

Here's a recent example of a local "home" that didn't survive a windstorm. Looks like the opposite of shelter to me. I'd run from this POS at the first raindrop.

Mark Twain once said that America has the best fire departments in the world; that everywhere else they build houses that don't burn. Does the above picture inspire confidence in fire departments and building codes and regulations?

OK, so maybe the trailer life is a bit iffy and you'd rather have a "stick-built" house?

Keep buying insurance and crossing your fingers.

Posted by Dave
Cross-posted at El Nuevo Chingon.


  1. It is sad when anybody loses their home. Everyone can agree on that. What infuriates me is the corporate and banking greed that compels people to live in substandard (although very pricey) homes in the first place. We need more examples of places like yours and my new place. Pretty much weather proof, flood proof, pest proof, bullet proof and mortgage proof.

  2. Hi Muddome,

    Agreed. In addition, I'd like to throw in a swift nut-kick to building departments whose onerous codes and regulations, requirements of "licensed contractors", and time limitations keep people from building their own houses. I had to get my "permit" extended twice, even though I worked on it full-time, every day, for 2-1/2 years. The best houses take time.


  3. Today ... I'm sitting in the 2xWide, outside the wind is a constant 20 mph, gusts over 50mph.

    Every spring these windstorms seem more powerful and more frequent.

    Every spring I'm waiting for the "big one" that'll clear the concrete pad the 2xWide is sittin' on.

    Feel like a traditional wigwam would be more secure.

  4. Hi Art,

    I like wigwams--an indian Winnebago! Just roll it up and put on the back of your horse when you get tired of living in tornado alley. :-)

    I worked in 50+ MPH winds yesterday. Not a bit of fun.



All comments are welcome.