Two Theories About What Saves a Beach House

Sturdy, old-fashion construction and a sea wall, or just boarding up the windows.

What saved those Cosey Beach Avenue beach houses that survived? Bob Bishop and John Miessau think they know, although they disagree.

Bishop felt his house benefited because it was older, built in a sturdier time. "This house was built in the 1920s," he said. "The other houses didn’t make it."

And there was another factor. He noted that a concrete sea wall protected his house. Other houses that didn’t have a sea wall were smashed by the hurricane-driven waves Sunday, he said.

Miessau, the owner of the Lighthouse Marina, was helping his friend make repairs on Monday afternoon.

He said what made the difference was Bishop’s decision to board up his house. Plywood over the windows was what protected it.

Bishop said his brother stayed in the house during the hurricane until he saw the beach house next door collapse under the forces of the storm surge at 11 a.m. That’s when he got out.

"Waves hit the second floor of this house," Bishop said.

And by that time, Hurricane Irene had been downgraded to a tropical storm, noted Miessau. "Imagine if it was a Category 3," he said.

James May 26, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Time they change the building codes all new buildings either build it to with stand major storms or sell and move away from the water


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