NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Middle Tennessee has experienced a record number of tornadoes in one year with 44 recorded in 2021 — 15 of those happened during this weekend’s storms.
Those tornadoes ranged in strength from EF0 to EF2 with wind speeds topping 135 miles per hour.
Council Member Freddie O’Connell said Metro Council recognized the new severe weather trend and took action to ensure builders in Nashville do their part to help keep residents safe.
“We did pass a massive update to our building codes locally, just last year,” O’Connell says, “We were responding, in no small part, to the March tornado of last year.”
Previously, Metro building codes only required structures to withstand 90 mph winds for at least three seconds. That standard is comparable to most counties in Tennessee and is on par with International Building Codes from 2012.
New Metro Codes mandate homes and buildings must withstand 115 mph winds, which is the standard set by International Building codes for 2018.
“There are some new requirements there for buildings both at scale and also on a residential level that target both energy efficiency, but also kind of extreme weather conditions as a part of the building code,” explained O’Connell.
With Nashville’s construction boom not slowing anytime soon, O’Connell takes solace in knowing we’re building a stronger city.
“I think it was one of the more important things we did last year.”