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FEMA 281, Mitigation Assessment Team Report: Hurricane Opal in Florida (1996)

Cover photo for the document: FEMA 281, Mitigation Assessment Team Report: Hurricane Opal in Florida (1996)

Hurricane Opal made landfall on October 4, 1995, as a Category 3 storm. Fifteen counties in the Florida Panhandle were declared Federal disaster areas. Field inspections were concentrated along a 200-mile stretch of Florida's Gulf of Mexico shoreline. Most of the structural damage associated with the storm was caused by coastal flood forces: storm surge, wind-generated waves, storm-induced erosion, and floodborne debris. The types of structural damage included slab foundations, pile and pier foundations, and framing systems. Recommendations for reconstruction include the application of v-zone construction requirements; construction materials should meet or exceed the minimum requirements for building materials in the Standard Building Code; slab and grade beams designed as freestanding structural elements; and pile, post, column, and pier foundations designed to accommodate all design flood, wind, and other loads simultaneously.

A Power Point presentation of the MAT report can be downloaded, in PDF format, by going to http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/27439.