Mobile homes that flipped in Troy tornado may not have been anchored down properly

Mobile home safety concerns after Troy tornado

TROY, AL (WSFA) - The National Weather Service in Birmingham confirmed an EF-1 tornado touched down in Troy on Sunday, leaving behind much damage.

Some of the most substantial damage was in Hunter’s Mountain Mobile Estates, a mobile home park in Troy.

“The strongest wind strength was there and it was like right around 95 miles an hour, which is an EF-1," said Kevin Laws, chief scientist for the National Weather Service in Birmingham. “Some of them were just moved off of their foundation, and I want to say maybe four were actually flipped over.”

After surveying the damage, Laws said all of the mobile homes that flipped over had one thing in common.

“The ones that flipped, or the ones that we could see, the straps were either broken or just ripped up out of the ground,” Laws said.

Tommy Colley with the Alabama Manufactured Housing Commission, said if the mobile homes are up to code, this shouldn’t happen.

“If these homes were put in prior to the standards and the inspection process which is in place now, which has been in place since 2001, then they may not have very well been inspected, they may not have very well been done correctly or installed correctly," Colley said.

Meaning, the mobile homes may not be anchored down properly - if at all.

“Older homes that were installed 15 to 20 years ago were not installed to the processes and were not anchored down the way we do it now," Colley said.

If a mobile home is anchored down properly, it should sustain winds up to 70 miles per hour.

“They ordinarily do not move if they’re put in correctly," said Colley. “70 miles per hour is where we know that they’re tested and designed to withstand."

If a storm is predicted to have winds higher than 70 miles per hour, it’s best to seek shelter elsewhere.

“When we know, and we have warning that there will be winds above 70 miles an hour approaching us, then we should get out,” Colley said.

Which was the case in Troy, where according to Laws, the EF-1 tornado produced winds up to 95 miles per hour.

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