National Weather Service Says Homes Not Built To Standards

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The National Weather Service said many of the homes hit by the tornado in Central Arkansas did not meet state construction requirements.

They said some homes did not have anchor bolts or straps installed into the home foundation.

"The building inspector will not pass them without it," said Barling construction worker Moody Ham.

"We put them on average every four feet," Ham said.

The devastation in Central Arkansas left some wondering what would happen without an anchor bolt or strap.

"The walls would just pull right up off,” Ham said. “The nails would pull right off the slab."

Fort Smith building official Jimmie Deer said bolts or straps are a statewide requirement.

"Throughout the state of Arkansas you are supposed to have anchor bolts at least 12 inches on each center on the corners and then every six feet apart," Deer said.

"If it's not properly constructed the structure is going to explode more than normal damage," Ham said.

"People cut corners for whatever reason they do and it's hard to always catch that criteria," Ham said.

“It would be pretty hard to tell after if it had straps or not,” Ham said. “There's no way you could see it. They're inside the sheet rock and under the bricks so you would never see it."

Deer said if a home hasn't been built to proper standards call city administration.


  • atc8824

    I sure hope they get help.My neighborhood is not up to code every house that was built before the 1996 tornado has safety issues.Contractors today are supposed to secure the frames to the foundation with bolts and secure all joints of the roof with metal.If you have a F4 or F5 tornado I really don’t think it would matter.

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