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Flood Logs Protect Historic Site from Hurricane Florence

In September 2018 at historic Revolution Mill in Greensboro, North Carolina, Hurricane Florence threatened with high wind, rain and storm flooding. The structure weathered the worst of the storm thanks to Flood Log™ flood barriers from Flood Panel LLC.

Revolution Mill

Revolution Mill is a unique building complex that houses more than 100 businesses, meeting and conference facilities, 150 loft apartments, outdoor performance spaces, public art galleries, restaurants, coffee shops, greenway trails and more.

On the National Registry of Historic Places, the building was the first flannel mill in the South and by 1930 was the largest exclusive flannel producer in the world. Manufacturing in North Carolina declined in the mid-1900s and the Mill eventually closed. In 2012, a $100 million redevelopment project transformed the site into its current state.

Revolution Mill sits along North Buffalo Creek, a stream prone to flooding from seasonal rainstorms and hurricanes. Recognizing the vulnerability of this historic space, management purchased Flood Logs from Flood Panel LLC to protect the site from water damage during a flood event.

Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence began like many hurricanes in the Atlantic, as a tropical wave off the coast of Africa first identified by meteorologists on August 30, 2018.

By September 7, Florence had strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane with a bullseye on the North Carolina coast. Two weeks after it was first identified, Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington, N.C. on September 14 as a Category 1 hurricane.

Gradually the storm weakened, but began to slow down moving only 2-3 miles per hour. Storm surge plus historic rainfall caused catastrophic flooding along the North Carolina coast. At one point, the entire city of Wilmington was completely cut off by flooded roadways. Some places recorded over 30 inches of rainfall and many rivers overflowed their banks.

Ready for the Storm

Management at Revolution Mill was ready for major flooding due to sudden storms, flash floods and hurricanes. They had 27 sets of Flood Logs to safeguard the structure.

Fortunately, Hurricane Florence gave the building maintenance crew a lot of time to prepare. “We saw it coming and we were watching developments,” said Don Elliott, Maintenance Supervisor, Revolution Mill. “We had a crew on site to put the Flood Logs up as soon as we knew we needed them.”

According to Elliott, they deployed 22 of the 27 sets of Flood Logs to secure the most vulnerable openings. Installation was fast and easy.

Although many businesses in North Carolina sustained major damage from the storm, Revolution Mill was spared. Flood water was an issue at only one of the protected entryways.

The Flood Logs held up to the rising water, which rose to three feet on one side of the building. According to Elliott, “Water rose outside an area of the building under renovation to become retail space. The water would have caused a lot of damage.”

Once the danger had passed, Revolution Mill stored the Flood Logs on custom racks. For now, they sit idle in storage, but ready for the next storm.

Flood Barrier Certification Provides Peace of Mind in a Flood

One of the most destructive aspects of storms like Hurricane Florence is the catastrophic flooding caused by storm surge and prolonged heavy rainfall. Water damages or destroys many homes and businesses thought to be out of harm’s way.

When flooding strikes, building owners need to know that their property and assets will be protected. Flood doors, flood panels and other flood barrier solutions can provide some peace of mind in a flood event. But how can one know with any degree of certainty that those measures will work?

Interest in Flood Barrier Testing

Several years ago, at a conference sponsored by the Association of State Flood Plain Managers and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, attendees called for a national program to test flood barriers that would standardize quality and differentiate products that worked from those that did not.

Meanwhile, FM Global, one of the world’s largest business and property insurers, was also taking steps to address the problem at its insured facilities worldwide. In 2006, its subsidiary FM Approvals created a standard for testing and certifying flood loss prevention products. FM Approvals Standard 2510 was adopted by the American National Standards Institute. It is the only U.S. national standard for flood barrier products.

In 2012, ASFPM partnered with USACE and FM Approvals to develop the National Flood Barrier Testing & Certification Program based on the ANSI/FM Approvals Standard 2510. It “assures manufacturers and consumers that a product, which has been objectively tested, conforms to national standards.” The program awards national recognition and FM Approval certification for products that meet requirements.

Flood barrier certification requires a battery of tests, audits of the manufacturing facility and supporting operational guidelines. This process ensures certified flood solutions will stand up to waves, hydrostatic forces and impact from floating debris. FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program have adopted the requirements for floodproofing nonresidential structures.

Flood Barrier Certification Requirements

The testing and certification program is a five-step process that includes 1) Application, 2) Proposal Issue and Manufacturer Authorization, 3) Testing and First Audit, 4) Report and Certification, and 5) Follow-up Audits.

The program evaluates temporary perimeter barriers, set just before a flood event, and opening barriers including doors, windows and vents. It includes component testing, performance (water) testing and manufacturing facility auditing. According to an FM Approvals representative, each step is important because “a product is only as good as its weakest link.”

The USACE conducts water testing to “examine the ability of a product to withstand flood related exposure, such as hydrodynamic, overtopping, velocity and debris.” FM Approvals manages materials testing to “examine the ability of a product to withstand the forces of nature that impinge upon the product when deployed.”

flood barrier certification and testing

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers testing facility in Mississippi. Photo credit: USACE

The USACE evaluates temporary perimeter barriers at its facility in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Tests on closure barriers can be conducted in Vicksburg, at a manufacturing facility or at an independent laboratory approved by FM Approvals. The Flood Lab at Flood Panel LLC headquarters in Jupiter, Florida is an example of an approved manufacturer facility.

Manufacturers are also required to develop a “Design, Installation, Operation and Maintenance Manual” that outlines repair and replace instructions for the product. Additionally, the manufacturer must create a post installation checklist to be completed by the installer and kept on file at the manufacturer facility.

FM Approvals visits the manufacturing facility to confirm that quality guidelines are set to ensure consistent production of the product. During these audits, FM Approvals also verifies that completed installation checklists are on file.

Finally, FM Approvals conducts periodic follow-up audits at the manufacturing facility to ensure that nothing has changed with the certified product.

The flood barrier certification and testing program outlines three levels:

  • Silver: Water (at least one foot hydrostatic test) and material testing, plant and product inspection, and follow-up verification.
  • Gold: Water (at least two foot hydrostatic test) and material testing, plant and product inspection, and follow-up verification.
  • Platinum: Water (at least three foot hydrostatic test) and material testing, plant and product inspection, and follow-up verification.
Will it Work?

Tom Osborne, president of Flood Panel LLC, compares the certification program to other standards, such as UL Listings or Fire-Safety Ratings, which assure consumers that building products meet standards set by the industry.

Building owners want assurance that their flood prevention safeguards will keep water out when flooding occurs. The National Flood Barrier Certification & Testing Program delivers third-party, objective testing of important flood protection solutions to answer the most important question, “Will it work?”

Visit www.nationalfloodbarrier.org for more information and a webinar about the National Flood Barrier Testing & Certification Program.

ALERT: East Coast Should Prepare for Hurricane Florence

9/10/18 – The National Hurricane Center has issued a special statement regarding Hurricane Florence, now a Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic taking aim at the U.S. East Coast and expected to make landfall on Thursday or Friday this week. Read the 11 am advisory.

Key messages from the Center:

• Life-threatening storm surge is likely along the coastlines of South and North Carolina and Virginia
• Life-threatening fresh water flooding is likely from a long and exceptionally heavy rainfall event, which may extend inland over the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic
• Damaging hurricane force winds are likely along portions of the coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina, which could spread inland
• Large swells affecting Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast will continue this week, resulting in life-threatening surf and rip currents.

We advise all Flood Panel LLC customers on the U.S. East Coast, especially along the Carolina and Virginia coastlines, to prepare for a major hurricane. Install your Flood Panel solutions and put your Flood Emergency Operational Plans into action now.

For the latest information on Hurricane Florence, check with The National Hurricane Center.

Read the Flood Panel blog post for more information about planning for flood emergencies.

8 Tips for Reducing Flood Risk

Many homeowners are complacent, even during major downpours, because they are enjoying a false sense of security. Incredibly, most homeowners think that they are fully covered for any kind of damage to their homes because they carry some type of property insurance. Sadly, this is not the case, and all too many owners find out the hard way that flood damage is not covered by most policies. In order to be covered for flooding, a specific flood insurance policy must be purchased.

Another common mistake is to assume that living in an area with low flood risk negates the need for flood insurance. All it takes is one faulty water heater, a pipe bursting in the cold of winter, gutters that empty straight down the side of the foundation, a toilet or bath overflowing … and a flood is born. Flooding can happen for so many reasons — even a large aquarium can cause expensive flood damage. So today we will look at eight tips for staying ahead of possible floods and mitigating risks that can lead to expensive repairs.

Construction of levees around a residential building can be effective at reducing or eliminating building and contents damage during flood events. The measures will work best when used along with a pump system or interior storage system to address rain that falls within the levee.

  • Gutters: The rain gutters that channel rain water off the roof usually do a great job of aiming the water where you want it- away from the foundation of the structure. But the gutters cannot operate properly when they are full to the brim with leaves and other debris. Mesh gutter covers can help keep leaves out while allowing water to seep through. Better yet, homeowners should definitely make a habit of examining and clearing the gutters on a regular basis, especially before the rainy seasons.
  • Downspouts direct the water away from the house, but in so many cases the last section of the downspout has been lost or dislodged. If a downspout is discharging the water straight into the ground next to the house, over time this water will find a way through the wall and into the basement. Downspouts should be extended at least five feet from the house, and aimed at an area that will not impact others.
  • Regular inspections of plumbing, water heaters, and fixtures such as toilets, baths, and sinks can save a lot of expense down the road. Small leaks can be repaired quickly and cheaply, but if left neglected may end up costing thousands of dollars in major repair bills.
  • Inspection of basements, eaves, and exterior hose bibs can also spot problems before they become unmanageable. Look for signs of mold, mildew, water stains, and seepage and find the source of the seepage. Small repairs are so much easier and less expensive to take care of!
  • Landscaping and berms that slope down and away from the house can offer major flood protection benefits as well as natural beauty. Plantings should be kept some distance away from the exterior walls so that the irrigation process does not also include the basement.
  • No matter what precautions are taken, basements are often the scene of unfortunate flooding events. By elevating expensive items like water heaters, AC units, and appliances the prudent homeowner will buy time to get the flooding under control before incurring huge replacement expenses.
  • Sump pumps can be a lifesaver during those times when water gets into the cellar. However, in many cases the flooding in the basement results from major precipitation and thunderstorms, which may mean that the power has been lost. Today there are many battery-backup pumps on the market, and installing one of these devices may even get you a discount on your property insurance rates.
  • Sealing basement walls with special sealants can also help to keep your house dry and safe.

These are just a few ways to help keep floods from damaging your home. But major flooding can happen almost anywhere, so be sure to be prepared for it. Know where your utility shut-off valves are, keep your important documents and valuable electronics in an elevated and protected location, and always keep a ‘go bag’ filled with emergency supplies and relevant phone numbers. Prevention measures will go along way to lessening your chances for disaster, and being prepared in advance is crucial.

Source:: FloodBarrierUSA

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