Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Audio Spot: ORNL engineer studying Texas construction damage

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Sep. 18, 2008 — Oak Ridge National Laboratory Buildings Technology Center engineer Andre Desjarlais is part of a team of national roofing experts sent to Texas, studying construction damage from Hurricane Ike.

"We have a mobilization criteria which requires that the hurricane be at least a Category 2 storm of having sustained winds of 95 mph or greater and striking a well-populated area," says Desjarlais. "We would be looking at an area that has a large diversity of different types of roofing products."

From a construction damage standpoint, Desjarlais says Ike was not a typical hurricane.

"When a hurricane makes landfall, the winds start to subside quickly," Desjarlais says. "Once you're 15, 20 or 25 miles inland, you've lost a lot of the additional punch of the storm. Ike was different in that it seemed to be able to sustain its winds for quite a distance inland."

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.