South Florida has some of the most storm-resistant building codes in the country, but are they tough enough for a monster like Hurricane Irma, which is well in excess of the starting Category 5 wind speed of 157 miles per hour?
Hurricane Irma currently has sustained winds of 175 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 215 miles per hour. The storm is forecast to weaken slightly before reaching Florida this weekend, but nothing is certain. This storm already broke the Atlantic hurricane record for the longest time with sustained winds at 185 miles per hour.
Hurricane Irma’s winds are so fast that researchers can’t even test for that speed. Florida International University’s Wall of Wind, which tests life-sized buildings against storm-force winds, maxes out at 157 miles per hour, said Arindam Chowdhury, director of the university’s laboratory for wind engineering research and its International Hurricane Research Center. The increase in wind speeds from 157 to 175 miles per hour, with gusts even higher, is exponential in regard to the extra pressure it exerts on structures, he said.
Read the Full Story HERE >>>> Source: Powerful Hurricane Irma could stretch South Florida building codes to their limits – South Florida Business Journal