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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Is demolition tougher than construction ~ tornado and wrong demolition

Standard Fire & Special Perils  Policy specifies the ‘insured perils’ ….. “STFI” is a named peril… it actually is a group of wind and water perils …. “Storm, Cyclone, Typhoon, Tempest, Hurricane, Tornado, Flood and Inundation”. As could be deciphered, only such damages caused by the action wind, the speed of which could be classified as ‘storm, cyclone, typhoon, tempest, hurricane, tornado’ is indemnifiable.

Everyone makes some mistakes at work sometimes. Many a times, someone else would alert /stop before something wrong occurs !  ~it also depends on the activity.  As they say, it is difficult to construct / make something – easier to destroy / demolish !! – and one generally does not make mistakes destroying something. 
photo credit : National Geographic

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cloud.  They are often referred to as twisters or cyclones, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology, in a wider sense, to name any closed low pressure circulation. Tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes, but they are typically in the form of a visible condensation funnel, whose narrow end touches the earth and is often encircled by a cloud of debris and dust.   The vast majority of tornadoes occur in the Tornado Alley region of the United States, although they can occur nearly anywhere in North America and elsewhere.

In end Dec 2015, 8 people reportedly died in the Dallas area after tornadoes and severe storms tore through, according to police.  Collin County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to  news agencies  that people had died in Collin County  as a result of Saturday night’s extreme weather system. Cops also said that there were numerous injuries and that there were numerous buildings destroyed…. –in such situation Insurers are inundated with claims to property.

It was a small  one story brick house that had been severely damaged on 26 December, 2015, when violent tornados swept through north Texas.  On Tuesday, a crew from Billy L. Nabors Demolition travelled to 7601 Cousteau Drive in Rowlett, Texas, and tore down a duplex that had been damaged by a tornado.  In India, most often we see it is construction [and destruction] is more of manual activity.  Over there it was technology aided – not only the tools of destruction but also the aide for reaching.  .. they used the ‘Google maps’, which many drivers  here too especially on the highway.
Sadly, “Google Maps did indeed show incorrect information for the house to be demolished.  A wrong house was identified and demolished wrongly.  Compounding the initial foul-up, it seems Nabors Demolition went  out of its way to commit every public relations sin in the book. The company’s CEO told ABC affiliate WFAA the mistake was “not a big deal.” The Verge reports that the company told the mistakenly destroyed home’s owner, Lindsay Diaz, to get ready for “’a nasty fight‘” for damages.

It was the day after Christmas last year, tornadoes tore through Rowlett, Texas, a quiet suburb of Dallas. The aftermath was the image of destruction: splintered wood, metal and brick - once the foundation of homes - covered the streets. Nearly 450 buildings were damaged or destroyed; hundreds lost their homes; one person was killed. 

At the time, Lindsay Diaz and Alan Cutter considered themselves lucky. The duplex they owned needed repairs, but it was structurally sound. In the meantime, Diaz and her family were living in a rented home. This Tuesday, Diaz received a frantic call from Cutter's wife, ABC affiliate WFAA reported. Their duplex was gone, she said.

Gone?..  Disbelieving, Diaz hurried to her house. .. "I pull up, and - sure enough - it's gone," she told WFAA. "There's nothing left."

Earlier that day, a demolition crew had arrived to tear the house down, KTVT reported. But it was all a mistake: Their intended target was another duplex one block over, a house bearing the same number on a different street. Diaz and Cutter's duplex occupied 7601 and 7603 Calypso Drive. The house that was supposed to be demolished was left standing, at 7601 Cousteau Drive.

Diaz said when she tried talking to the president of the demolition company, Billy L. Nabors Demolition, he was unsympathetic. "I didn't believe he was telling me this," she told KTVT. "I was hoping for an apology - 'I'm sorry my company did this, we'll make it better,' and instead he's telling me how the insurance is going to handle it, and telling me that it's going to be a nasty fight."

 Rowlett City Manager however disagreed. "I think this is a huge deal," Funderburk told WFAA.  "The homeowners were in the process of trying to figure out what it was going to take to repair their home and now they're looking at rebuilding it instead. I think this is a very big deal." Diaz is currently waiting to hear back from Nabors's insurance carrier about making a claim.  "That's what their job is - to wreck it in demo, and they really wrecked my life," she told WFAA. "I feel farther away from moving into a home today than I did after the tornado hit."

The company's slogan, according to its website, is "We could wreck the world."

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th Mar 2016.

News inputs taken from NZ Herald.

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