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Ottawa Engineer Stresses Building Code Compliance To Prevent Disaster Damage

Chase Cavanaugh/WNIJ

Ottawa City Engineer Dave Noble says some of the tornado damage from February 28 could have been prevented if construction was up to code.

Violations include a lack of bolts to hold down garages or "hurricane clips" to do the same to roofs. As a result, Noble says many of these structures simply "blew away" during the disaster. The Ottawa Times reportshe made these comments at a town hall meeting for tornado victims.

Noble urges residents to get permits for repairs being carried out by contractors.  He notes that these permits are required for all storm damage work, but the document is free if the labor is connected to fixing tornado damage. Finally, he recommends residents verify that contractors are registered with the city.  This provides the workers with liability insurance and workman's compensation, and ensures the city will inspect the labor for code compliance.