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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 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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.”
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Flood Panel LLC accepts
all major credit cards.