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WATCH: Gusty Weekend Winds Level Large Condominium

See the shocking footage
Monday, Jan. 13, 2014


As gusty winds whipped through Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday, photographer Ed Braz captured shocking footage of its result.

The powerful winds toppled a large, under-construction condominium, leveling the building completely.

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Setting the stage for the severe weather was unusual warmth, as temperatures peaked at 69 degrees F in the afternoon, nearly 20 degrees above normal.

Paired with moist air and a passing cold front, thunderstorms and strong winds stretched across the region Saturday afternoon.

Though winds gusted mostly between 20 and 30 mph, a record gust of 86 mph was recorded at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, just miles from where the footage was shot.

In the photographer's blog this weekend, Braz detailed his experience:

"Took my phone/camera to document this unusual weather phenomenon and was some-what concerned about how my building would hold up. Turned on the video recording, placed the phone up against the glass pane and felt the vibration caused by the high-speed winds. As I was commenting to myself in a half-tone about the scary nature of what I was seeing and feeling, I got a lot more than I could expect.

Within a few seconds the wind gusted and the structure a mere 30 yards (roughly 30 m) came crashing down turning the building into heap of wooden beams and compressed sheeting."

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Leonardo Morales

Two comments,
1) Frame construction
2) Lack of temporary braces.

January 14 2014 at 7:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
franksw7

I say that the proper shear walls weren't completed yet and hurricane clips left out to that point, should not have happened sometimes we just want to move along on a project to make it look good and get a draw and well this time it cost the company big time ,because the framing inspection doesn't get done till its all completely framed as this wasn't,it amazes me that stuff like this happens and I can't get a job as a site super,yet this guy will just get a pass,oh it was the wind !

January 14 2014 at 6:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cardiacbuzz

Most likely too many openings causing an internal air pocket/balloon lifting effect.

January 14 2014 at 2:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bdgrizcp

These buildings fell because that is the weakest phase of construction. The buildings were massively top-heavy and high winds across the roof creates a vacuum under the roof, the roof lifts like a sail and falls down. What amazed me was looking at the street on the right side of the street cars were driving by. 'Nothing to see here', I guess.

January 14 2014 at 2:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
t7331466

Maybe the reason others did not fall was nothing more than added windows, doors, and "drywall." In some homes run for your life, not the basment in a tornado.

January 14 2014 at 12:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
t7331466

plywood, lol

January 14 2014 at 12:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
t7331466

Those panels were not playwood, the wind broke some after the building fell exposing the weak material. That is why I only use playwood, and some try to say chip board is as strong, LOL. And chip board falls apart when wet, along with partical board, but some say no, it stays together now days, double LOL. Idiots say it, and want to believe it to scam for profit. It can be easier to go through some walls than a locked door. I can go through walls with a shap knife because some homes have used metal bracing and styrofoam with vinyl siding, LOL. I have listened to friends that build laugh that they wold like to sell before a wind comes, and I laugh with them when I see their work is not far from the truth. I wish Insurance would skyrocket for homes using cheap materials. That would save lives as well as cost for insurance over the long haul.

January 14 2014 at 12:43 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
fjkur113

I blame obamacare for this

January 13 2014 at 10:59 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
hattie54

http://www.wral.com/builder-starting-over-on-storm-damaged-condos-in-brier-creek/13295582/

Backhoes were digging Monday afternoon into the collapsed heap of trusses, plywood, nails that were the building materials for a luxury condominium building under construction at Brier Creek.

The building on Bruckhaus Street blew apart Saturday during storms that produced straight-line winds, and cellphone video that documented the destruction was aired on national news outlets.

Toll Brothers, the Pennsylvania-based company that is building the project, known as the Cottages at Brier Creek, said in a statement that the building was not far enough along in its construction to withstand the extreme winds that knocked it down. Windows, metal framing and other structural supports were not yet in place in the building. By contrast, an adjacent building that did have those features is still standing.

January 13 2014 at 10:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wallysrainbow

I watched this no less than 20 times. I could not believe my eyes. This was more than wind working here! This is just faulty construction! You could actually see the building twist on it's foundation pad before it collapsed. There was still enough uncompleted construction i.e. windows and etc to allow the wind to pass through the structure tocreate less wind resistance. I agree, it appears there were few nails coming into contact with the frame! Did anyone notice the ply wood sheets just fell from the structure with no breaking, taring or major damage to it?

January 13 2014 at 10:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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