Hurricane Michael Validates Miami-Dade Standards

Hurricane Michael

Bryan Norcross, a hurricane specialist at WPLG-TV in Miami and for the Weather Channel wrote an excellent piece for the Washington Post about the value of beefed-up building codes:

Why was there so much damage from Hurricane Michael? The easy answer: Michael was a spectacularly strong hurricane. Near the top of the scale.

The rest of the answer is, however, that important people decided that homes and businesses and Air Force bases housing billions of dollars in airplanes should be built to a lower standard than Mother Nature’s reality dictated. They bet that a superstrong storm wasn’t going to come along. They lost the bet.

It is horrendous what the people in Panama City and the surrounding area are dealing with. And it’s only just beginning. After Hurricane Andrew, some people suffered for months and years. It was wrenching to see and horrifying to live through.

The wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented. Miami-Dade has set world-class standards. What we need are leaders who understand that Florida is a sore thumb sticking out into hurricane alley. While South Florida may get hurricanes more often, the entire state has a hurricane history that includes ultra-strong hurricanes.

It’s up to all of us to demand that our representatives ignore the voices that favor weaker codes, and mandate standards that are strong enough to ensure our communities are livable, even after a major storm.

Read the full post here.