"Good Question: Are Homes Built Tough Enough?"
By Jason DeRusha, WCCO-TV, May 27, 2008
When a tornado struck Hugo last spring, destroying more than 50 homes, WCCO's Jason DeRusha interviewed Steve Weeks (Architecture) about the build quality of metro-area homes. "People are accustomed to building in a certain way," Weeks said. "And maybe that way needs to adjust." Weeks noted that newer developments don't have mature trees that absorb some of the energy in wind storms.
In Minnesota, the residential building code calls for builders to make a house's roof strong enough to handle a "90 mile per hour updraft of a three second burst," Weeks told DeRusha. The commercial building code is stronger. DeRusha asked if houses could be built to withstand 150 mile per hour winds. "Yes you could," replied Weeks. "But you couldn't afford the extra engineering that would go into it."