RICOWI deployed seven 4-member teams to Houston, Texas to conduct roofing investigations of hurricane stricken areas immediately after Hurricane Ike made landfall on Sept. 13 in Galveston, Texas. The teams consisted of wind engineers, roofing material specialists, insurance analysts, structural engineers, and roofing consultants who were trained in wind issues by a number of the country’s leading scientists and others qualified in examining wind damage to roofing systems.
The RICOWI Wind Investigation Program’s (WIP) protocol states: A deployment event is a hurricane with a wind speed of 95 mph (1 minute sustained), or greater, that makes landfall in a populated area in the continental U.S.
Hurricane Ike was a strong category 2 hurricane and had winds in several areas that met these criteria. As a result of the storm surge and the massive destruction, Galveston Island and other coastal areas were not investigated.
Logistics Team members Robb Smith, John Goveia, Phil Mayfield and Paul Riesebieter were in the damage area the day after landfall to evaluate the type and extent of damage. Following an aerial surveillance the sites were selected for detailed investigation.
The teams and ground coordination crew conducted investigations on all types of roofing systems from September 18-22.
“Ike’s long duration and strength inland presented different investigation opportunities,” said RICOWI’s media spokesman Dave Roodvoets. “It was clear that the newer building codes and greater enforcement resulted in reduced roof system damage. Designs that did not meet manufacturers’ requirements and/or 2003-2006 building codes, as well as workmanship errors, resulted in damage that could have been prevented.”
Many of the types of damage reported in previous RICOWI hurricane investigations were also found in the Ike damage areas.
A general overview of the investigations will be presented at RICOWI’s Oct. 7 roofing seminar in Charleston, S.C. The final report will be available at RICOWI’s spring 2009 seminar in Dallas, Texas. For more information, call 770-726-7194 or visit www.ricowi.com.