Barrie tornado: Some homes damaged by Barrie, Ont., Tornado not up to code, researchers say

Barrie tornado: Some homes damaged by Barrie, Ont., Tornado not up to code, researchers say

BARRIE, ONT. – Researchers with the Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) are investigating the damage in a neighborhood in Barrie, Ont., After an EC-2 tornado touched last week and said they believe some of the destruction was preventable.

A total of 71 homes were considered uninhabitable and about 100 people were displaced.

According to Dr. Connell Miller, a researcher with NTP, says much of the damage caused by the powerful storm may not have happened if certain protocols were followed.

“We experienced non-successive errors, and what I mean by that is usually that shingles is torn off before the roof, which is torn off before the walls,” he said. “But we saw walls torn off before the roof and shingles and the like, which is a sign of inadequate construction.”

During an inspection last Thursday, researchers said they found many of the Prince William Way area’s houses did not have proper roof-to-wall connections.

According to Miller, the building code requires homes to have three toenails at each of the roof-to-wall connections, and at least one house, in particular, did not. “And that’s why you saw the roofs were ripped off, maybe when they shouldn’t be torn off,” he added.

On Wednesday, the Miller and Winds Impact Research Drone Team launched a drone over the affected area.

The drone took thousands of photos, which will be sewn to create a 3D map to help the team catalog the damage caused by the twister.

The general manager of infrastructure and growth management with the city of Barrie, Andrea Miller, said in a statement: “The city is following a documented and approved process to issue permits and inspect construction.

The building code specifies mandatory inspections that the designer is required to call the city to carry out.

Our process meets these obligations under the Building Code Act and reflects industry best practices.

The city is unable now or after the tornado to check the physical condition of the home first-hand / on-site for the following reasons:

  1. The city does not have the authority to enter the home for subsequent inspection, only to issue the unsafe order.

  2. Property owners / insurance companies receive reports from their own engineering firms to address an uncertain order or other concerns.

  3. The city’s responsibility is to review and evaluate the engineering report.

  4. It is likely that interior surfaces will need to be removed to fully assess any structural damage. The city is not able to perform that work.

  5. Inspection competence for repair work is limited to repair and not broader investigations. “

The city said it would respond with building permit information to the affected homes, as requested through the appropriate process, though this will take time to retrieve archived files.

Meanwhile, NTP said it could take months to analyze the footage from Wednesday’s drone.

“This was a pretty significant event with a lot of structural damage. Damage that just goes through fields, forests, stuff like that – it’s a little faster to analyze just because there are not as many detailed structural connections as we need to look at, but an event like this, we could look at it for months, and it could be researched for years, ”added Dr. Connell Miller.


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