As Hurricane Andrew memories fade, Florida weakens building codes

Before Hurricane Katrina, before Superstorm Sandy, there was Hurricane Andrew.

The intense Category 5 hurricane, a compact buzzsaw that ripped the roofs off thousands of South Florida homes 25 years ago, was so catastrophic that it led to sweeping changes in the insurance industry, weather forecasting and disaster response. And Floridians — shocked by acres of flattened houses — rewrote the state’s building codes, making them the toughest in the nation. Now, as memories of the horrendous destruction of Aug. 24, 1992, grow dim, the lessons learned from Andrew may be fading, too. The building codes once hailed as the gold standard other states should emulate are under assault. At the core of that growing dispute is a simple calculation: the tougher the building code, the more it costs to build a home.

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Source: USA Today

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