Tornado Bait

Quality of construction in this area always puzzled me. Every year we see a local weather-woman imploring us to take cover while wearing a complete football player’s outfit; every year we see photos of damage and destruction; every year someone we know has to replace a roof, a window or a whole house. Yet the houses many of us live in are constructed of plywood, duct tape and termite excrement. I saw my house being built and I don’t hold any illusions about my survival chances in case of a tornado. That’s why I have reservations about sleeping naked during the storm season, you never know where my body may touch down.

With that in mind, I had to take a few pictures of the new apartment building currently being constructed downtown.

As I watch the progress from my office window, the lack of the elements not made out of wood strikes me as strange.

I am not a construction expert and building safety in a tornado region is not my specialty, but from a bystander’s point of view this looks like a future pile of debris on the local news.

As you can see, the buildings across the street are constructed out of brick, but according to the image below, the apartments will feature what looks like decorative faux-brick parts.

Even the internal structural parts and balcony support beams are made out of wood.

It’s not like there is no one in the area who doesn’t know how to build a solid building. During my trip to the Flint Hills I saw numerous buildings that looked like they could withstand a major storm.

Not too many man-made structures can survive a direct tornado hit, but can we at least pretend that we are trying, before we have to go looking for the parts of our homes in other people’s backyards.

© Jeff Roberson / AP