Monday, January 22, 2007

The Caresses of Katrina & Wilma



This is my neighbor's house down the block from me after both storms had come through Miami in 2005. I have the same type of awnings over my windows, which hinge down and secure against the house, covering the windows. The city says that they don't meet current hurricane impact code, and they wanted me to replace them with steel panels when I upgraded all my windows to current hurricane code a few years ago.

I pointed out that the panels were very heavy and a royal pain to put up, while the aluminum awnings were a cinch to pull down and secure, so l'd be much more likely to use them than put up the panels. I also said that they'd been there for about 50 years and had sufficed through all of those years worth of storms, including Hurricane Andrew a dozen years ago that had demolished so many homes. They finally relented and let me keep the awnings. The one-two hits of hurricanes Katrina and Wilma downed a lot of trees and limbs, but most of the damage to houses in my neighborhood was restricted to minor stuff like rain gutter drain pipes, screened patios, and roofing shingles, nothing major. We were all thankful for that. None of my windows were broken. The awnings covering them were sufficient to resist wind, rain, flying branches, and the other debris that the hurricanes hurled at them. Cutting up the downed trees and branches was the hardest part of the clean-up, but a chain saw made it fairly easy.

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