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Stormproof Houses Survive Hurricane Bonnie

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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — Many Wrightsville Beach residents lost their homes during Hurricane Fran. A cooperative effort among towns since then has made homes virtually stormproof. And that made all the difference during Hurricane Bonnie.

The owner of a house on Harbour Island had two choices after Fran: elevate his home, or tear it down. He chose to re-build, elevating the house 15 feet above flood level.

Storm surge rose two feet here during Bonnie. The owner also secured his LP gas take to keep it from floating away.

Because the house complies with new building codes, it didn't suffer any damage during Hurricane Bonnie.

"Bonnie did not exceed that level so they did not get any flooding into the garage and foyer areas," said Bill Manley, a building code supervisor.

FEMA has named Wrightsville Beach a pilot area. The agency is going to take some of the ideas used successfully at Wrightsville Beach and try them out in 50 cities around the country that are susceptible to all kinds of natural disasters.


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