Wilmington NC help!

Old Apr 11th, 2006, 03:54 PM
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Wilmington NC help!

Hope this post is not a duplicate, I thought I posted last week but I do not see it anywhere.
My husband and I are moving to Wilmington NC this summer. We love everything about the place, but, coming from Virginia, I have no experience with hurricanes. I know that historically Wilmington does has not gotten hit has hard and frequesntly as many places, but since the forecast for hurricanes has changed, I am concerned. Does anyone know how I can find out what the building codes are for this area? I am interested in knowing what year the codes were upped (if at all) to make the homes more hurricane resistant. Also, does anyone know if this area has planned for a worst-case scenario or are they still thinking they will never get more than a cat 3? Thanks to anyone who has insight into this, or anyone who just wants to give me general info on the area, like where to live or not to live.
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 05:15 PM
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A high school buddy is an architect in Wilmington. His name is Daryl Barker.
Barker Guidry Architects
273 North Front Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
(910) 763-3155

I don't know if he does residential design, but he should know the code.

I'm not an expert on hurricanes, but it seems to me Wilmington gets more than average.


Mike Honeycutt
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 07:07 AM
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Diana, you were statistically just as likely to get hit by a hurricane living in Virginia as living in Wilmington NC.

The building codes were upped by insurance companies for insurance reasons not by local governments. The building codes are going to be the same or near the same anywhere near the coast.

The building codes were changed after Hurricane Hugo hit South Carolina in 1989 and Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida in 1992.

No one on the coast has ever thought they would not get hit with more than a Cat 3 hurricane and I can tell you my home suffered more damage from a direct hit from a slow moving tropical storm than from an indirect hit from a Cat 2 hurricane.

Honestly, no one has a crystal ball and can tell you where to live or where not to live. Hurricane season is a crapshoot. We may get 50 landfalls this year and we may not get any storms to make landfall.

Storm surge, which was typically only considered a problem for those directly on the beach, will travel inland up to 15 miles. Tornados are also a problem inland.

Here are the best things you can do to prepare for a hurricane.

Make sure your insurance policies are up to date and include flood insurance. Flood damage is usually the culprit for hurricane damage and is not covered on a regular homeowners policy. Flood insurance is usually underwritten by FEMA.

Keep an eye on the weather channel. Hurricane Season is officially between June 1 and December 1st but it is very common for hurricanes, tropical storms, and tropical depressions to occur outside of that time.

Don't obsess about this. The past two hurricanes did damage as far north as Maine and as far west as Ohio. You cannot control this so don't let it control you.

Have a plan of action. If we have to evacuate, I keep all major documentation in a bank vault. All valuable family momentos, photographs and any other valuables go with us.

Have a location that you will evacuate to. We don't like to rely on hotel rooms so we have friends we stay with.

Either evacuate before the governer calls for a mandatory evacuation or at the last minute. Sitting in traffic sucks.

Make sure you keep your cars full of gas. In the event of power failure, the pumps don't work. Gas will run out quickly because everyone fills up.

Have pets? Have a plan. Make sure you have plenty of food and water for them and get current copies of shots and records. After the cluster in Miss, LA, and Florida, shelters realize they must take pets.

If you decide to stay, make sure you have supplies for at least 7 days following the hurricane. Have plenty of water, food, batteries, bug spray, and patience. It will be hot. Fill your bathtubs full of water so you can flush the toliet.

If you have any other questions just ask. Tons of us have weathered hurricanes and will be happy to share.
Old Apr 12th, 2006, 07:15 AM
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We refer to Wilmington as a hurricane magnet. I have been traveling to the NC beaches for 40+ years & have been evacuated 3 times, two of those in the last 10 years, along w/a couple of other times where we at the very least had some concerns. I typically stay on Oak Island or Holden Beach, just south of Wilmington. It is a fact of life, should you choose to live in that area.
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 08:11 AM
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Building codes will probably be under the auspices of the counties in SE North Carolina. New Hanover County is where Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach and environs are located. Brunswick County is to the southwest of Wilmington and Pender County is to the northeast. This part of North Carolina is experiencing dramatic growth and substantial sprawl. As someone who has vacationed at this area of North Carolina for nearly forty years, let me warn you that land prices, especially oceanfront, have exploded. For instance, my parents bought a small canalfront home at Topsail Beach in 1980 for about $60,000. Today, the home and lot would go for about $500,000 and the house would probably be torn down to put up a much bigger home.
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