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WAAY 31 I-Team: Severe weather draws new attention to Alabama mobile home regulations

In Alabama, your mobile home must be anchored down.

Posted: Mar 13, 2019 4:38 PM
Updated: Mar 13, 2019 5:36 PM

Last week, WAAY 31 saw the damage first hand of the EF-4 tornado that hit Lee County, killing 23 people, and flipping over mobile homes or destroying them altogether.

There are efforts across the state to make community storm shelters and mobile homes safer.

"There are a lot of manufactured homes out there that have not been properly anchored," said Bud Lemmond, who owns Lemmond Mobile Homes.

Lemmond has been selling and installing mobile homes for more than 30 years. He said the state of Alabama requires your mobile home to be anchored.

"Manufactured homes that are properly anchored and set up will stand as much wind force as a house," said Lemmond.

Lemmond said any time they install a mobile home, the state will inspect it to make sure it's anchored properly.

"They will go in and inspect it within a 72-hour frame," said Lemmond.

Lemmond showed us the various methods used to anchor mobile homes, but he says soil, and the size of the mobile home, all play into how it should be anchored. Sometimes people don't do it properly, and older mobile homes aren't required to be anchored.

The Alabama Manufactured Housing Commission was developed in 1988, and they tell us that's when the state started enforcing these regulations by HUD. The problem is that any homes built prior to the HUD regulations are basically grandfathered into the system and don't have to be anchored down.

"There's a lot of people that have their mobile home that was not anchored in a fashion that would probably be as safe today," said Lemmond.

Glenda Hannig lives in a mobile home and said that was the number one question she asked before renting her current home.

"Is it anchored down?" said Hannig, as she explained that her friend told her to ask that before renting. "That was one thing she told me to ask. She said that keeps it. It doesn't completely keep it from flying off, but it will."

Because Hannig has a mobile home skirt, we couldn't show how the home is anchored, but we did ask her what her home is wrapped with.

"I think it's wrapped with metal," said Hannig.

Lemmond said while physically strapping down the home is a good safety measure, so is wrapping the exterior. However, manufacturers are not required to do that with strong materials like plywood.

"That creates quite a danger if a tornado comes and applies, flying objects hit the mobile home. They will go right through it. This is one of the things that I think consumers should look for, is, 'How well is my home wrapped on the outside?'" said Lemmond.

Lemmond said you can check to see what your mobile home is wrapped with by removing a piece of siding to check the walls. He also says you can remove the skirt of a mobile home to see if it's anchored in.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, from 1985 to 2007, more than 1,200 people died in tornadoes. 506 of them died in mobile homes.

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Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4532143
Montgomery3875102
Mobile3797134
Tuscaloosa210739
Marshall162210
Lee124537
Shelby110923
Madison11047
Morgan10203
Walker87123
Franklin86314
Dallas8419
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Etowah64413
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Tallapoosa57269
Autauga55312
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Russell5030
Lowndes45820
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Houston4464
Limestone4290
Cullman4114
Pike4075
Colbert3775
Bullock3649
Coffee3592
Barbour3331
Covington3327
St. Clair3192
Marengo29911
Hale29621
Escambia2936
Wilcox2848
Talladega2827
Calhoun2805
Sumter27912
Clarke2686
Dale2620
Jackson2522
Winston2373
Blount2181
Pickens2176
Chilton2152
Marion20613
Monroe2052
Choctaw19212
Randolph1889
Conecuh1866
Greene1788
Macon1778
Bibb1761
Perry1541
Henry1303
Crenshaw1243
Washington1027
Lawrence1000
Cherokee797
Lamar711
Geneva700
Fayette671
Clay612
Coosa571
Cleburne301
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 46890

Reported Deaths: 620
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby10765195
Davidson10125115
Rutherford273335
Hamilton257730
Sumner150752
Trousdale14905
Williamson114814
Knox10225
Out of TN10098
Wilson85917
Putnam8147
Robertson80111
Sevier7333
Lake6900
Tipton6205
Bledsoe6181
Bradley6043
Bedford5205
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Montgomery5137
Macon4213
Hardeman3143
Maury3113
Fayette3012
Hamblen2964
Rhea2740
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Madison2642
Dyer2321
Cheatham2201
McMinn21817
Blount2053
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Cumberland1744
Lawrence1435
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Monroe1365
Washington1340
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Coffee1150
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Anderson1052
Hardin1037
Smith1031
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Hawkins552
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Johnson380
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Crockett323
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Humphreys261
Jackson260
Morgan241
Decatur210
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Fentress190
Clay160
Scott150
Union150
Houston130
Benton121
Moore100
Lewis70
Van Buren70
Pickett60
Hancock30

 

 

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