Naples, Florida and Hurricane Building Codes
A Nova Homes of South Florida custom home under construction, doing just fine after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida
It had been 12 years since a hurricane of any category hit or brushed Naples, or anywhere in Southwest Florida. Irma entered, the first since since 2005, and the most powerful to hit this close to Naples since Hurricane Donna in 1960. There had been a few lesser storms to brush by with little or no damage, and Hurricane Andrew in 1992 which hit land near Miami and traveled across the state south of Naples. Andrew is significant due to its strength striking Florida’s east coast. The Collier County powers that be, and a group of very astute and knowledgable individuals comprised a list of very stringent new building codes that all new buildings, built since Andrew in 1992 must follow.
Although Irma was a major storm, and did cause some damage, very little structural damage occurred. The majority of the damage has been to vegetation. One of Naples’ best known landmarks is the Naples Beach Hotel & Club, located directly on the Gulf of Mexico’s beaches. General Manager, Jason Parsons said it best when he said, “It could have been a lot worse, the lack of storm surge really saved us.” The hotel suffered mostly from the wind damaging trees, but will be ready to open after clearing the debris on September 25. There was very little structural damage in the Naples area, due to the installation of the stricter building codes, which has been noted by local, state, and federal employees and administrators. I think nearly all Neapolitans are breathing a sigh of relief and after just a little over a week, the vast majority are returning back to their normal routines and work.
With the hurricanes hitting the Caribbean Islands this season, it is apparent and very unfortunate that other countries have not enforced new building codes, which of course in many of those locations may be cost prohibitive.
The storm was also a time for Neapolitans and neighboring areas to unite in friendship and cooperation. Many who lost power were invited into friends’ and relatives’ homes, offered a hot shower, a hot meal, and a cool place to sleep. Naples was spared storm surge, major flooding, and significant damage to buildings. It looks like the landscapers and sign companies will be busy of the next few months, as everything quickly turns to normal again. Neapolitans seem to share the same attitude - Not in my backyard (NIMBY) directed at all storms, and in this case it seems to have worked. It may look like Naples received a slight trim. It is and will always be one of the most beautiful cities in America.
For more information regarding building by the codes, please call Nova Homes of South Florida, 293.307.6116 or visit on the web at novahomesbuilder.com.