Bracing for the storm

The approach of Hurricane Gustav made the mood yesterday — the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina — especially tense. No one’s sure how severely the hurricane will affect Biloxi; although it’s tracking towards west Louisiana, it could be a Category 4 or 5 when it arrives, bringing high winds and rain, although a Katrina-like storm surge is less likely.

Many residents and businesses are boarding up windows and preparing to evacuate if necessary. I helped Patty board up her windows (no small undertaking from a single 25′ ladder). Yesterday and today, at the suggestion of David Perkes, he and I and a couple of others decided to add some bracing to Patty’s house that hadn’t been included initially. Therefore, we added a band of pressure-treated lumber and diagonal corner braces around the columns on the west wing of the house to reinforce the wood-concrete column connection. The house is now about as solidly built as possible and all we can do is hope for the best.

David working up on the ladder:

The bracing actually adds some spatial definition underneath the house, creating a room-like space. It really couldn’t have worked out much better.

Detail of a connection. This is only the fraction of the hundreds of bolts used in this house.

Window box, all boarded up!


  1. 9/8
    Nice job, Vincent. Looks pretty stout under the house with all the bracing, though I like to see nice BIG bolts and stout washers making the connections.

    Looking forward to your updates, how things went w/Gustav and what happens with Ike. How far is this house from the water and what is the elevation?

    Keep up the good work,
    Uncle Doug

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