Home News Why couldn’t this townhome project withstand Dallas’ Labor Day weekend storm?

Why couldn’t this townhome project withstand Dallas’ Labor Day weekend storm?

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Kim Fulkerson was traveling from Oklahoma City to Dallas with her husband and another couple over the Labor Day weekend, exploring restaurants and attractions like the Bush Presidential Library. , they saw sights they never expected to find on their itinerary.

On Sunday afternoon, the couple were enjoying the pool at their Airbnb rental in Old East Dallas when they noticed dark clouds and a few raindrops. In time, they lost power along with thousands of others. Severe thunderstorm hits northern Texas causing damage.

To let light into the building, Fulkerson opened a window overlooking a townhome project under construction on Manger and Annex Avenues and noticed one of the houses. had collapsedAs soon as she opened the window, more things started falling and her friend caught it on video.

“I couldn’t believe what I saw,” Fulkerson said. “It blew up so fast.”

The property’s 13 luxury three-bedroom townhomes had been under construction for several months and were still being assembled, so they didn’t have the same support that a finished building would have to withstand high winds.

said Don Carroll, managing principal of Cobalt Homes, a Dallas-based townhome builder. “Unfortunately, this project is one of them.”

The building had temporary stilts installed, but they weren’t enough to keep it up, Carroll said.

“Of course we will look at what we can do differently,” Carroll said. If we were at a more advanced stage, we wouldn’t have had any problems.”

Carroll said the company will examine all units in the project for damage and rebuild the destroyed parts. He said he learned of the incident after a neighbor called the construction manager. At that point, the crew worked to clear debris from the street, which was a safety hazard.

The townhome development was under construction for months before the storm hit.(Laura Gomez / Staff Photographer)

Brian Eubanks, director of Paragon Structural Engineering in Plano, who wasn’t involved in the project, said the townhome didn’t seem to have the expected amount of braces and cladding to protect it from the elements. said it looks like

“With nothing to collect the lateral loads and transfer them to the foundation, a weak point was found and the structure collapsed,” Eubanks said in response to the video. “Structures under construction and completed in this area should be able to withstand winds of 60 mph.”

This isn’t the first collapse Eubanks has seen in his career. He said contracts usually require the subcontractor to reinforce the structure during construction, and that doesn’t always happen.

Lynn Motheral, president of North Richland Hills-based contractor Austin Design Build Inc., pointed out in a video that shows the middle floor of the first unit collapsed. dallas morning news It didn’t seem to have the same X-shaped cross bracing that keeps the top level intact in the event of a drop.

After the storm, parts of the project remained intact.
After the storm, parts of the project remained intact.(Laura Gomez / Staff Photographer)

Additionally, Motheral noted that there was no shear wall at the back of the complex. They are made of oriented strand board or plywood to collect and transfer wind and seismic forces to the foundation.

“If the wind were really 60 miles per hour, you would normally expect this object to last a little longer than it actually does,” says Motheral.

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