Our Executive Director, John Frye, Gives All the Details for Storm Preparedness at Trinity Landing
With its location right along the Intracoastal Waterway in Wilmington, hurricanes and storm surges were among the primary considerations when our team crafted the site plans for our future Continuing Care Retirement Community.
“The portion of the 50-acre tract that we’re using for residences at Trinity Landing is all outside the 100-year flood zone,” John Frye, Trinity Landing’s Executive Director, explained. “The site for residences is actually at an elevation that is primarily higher than the surrounding area. The only portion of our community that will be built within the 100-year flood zone is the recreational pavilion, down near the water.”
Beyond the site itself, the buildings at Trinity Landing (villas, apartments, the Town Center common areas, and the wellness center) will all be built to handle Category 4 storms.
“Of course, different parts of the North Carolina State Building Code apply to coastal developments, and those requirements are more stringent,” John said. “Trinity Landing will comply with those requirements and then some, and our buildings will be built to withstand 147 mph winds [of a Category 4 hurricane].”
Factoring into that design will be the engineering elements of the buildings at our community. Each building’s walls will be anchored to the building’s foundation, using concrete anchors that bolt the walls to the floors. The roof joists will also be strapped to the walls, tying the entire building together, providing maximum strength to withstand the “extreme elements of a hurricane,” John added. On the roofs and keeping everything dry on the inside will be heavy-duty premium architectural shingles, nailed down with a special pattern.
Encouraging preliminary results
Trinity Landing, set to open in 2021, has already passed one major test. In mid-September 2018, while Hurricane Florence ripped through the Carolina coast and caused devastating damage to communities along the Eastern Seaboard, the future site of Trinity Landing remained virtually unscathed.
“Over the last six months, we put in an erosion control system that allowed the massive rain to drain off the site and it worked wonderfully well,” John said. “The upper portion of the site drained well, and the lower portion of the site did not suffer effects of the storm surge that we thought it might.”
John lives about two miles from the site of Trinity Landing, and his were literally the first “boots on the ground” to explore the storm’s aftermath. During a lull in the rain, John and Ted Goins, President of Lutheran Services Carolinas, donned their rain gear and went to see the site. Needless to say, they were pleased with what they saw.
“Seeing how our site handled Florence, we feel really good about the portion of land that will be used for our community,” John said.
A plan for every scenario
In the event of a weather-related emergency, Trinity Landing has already determined multiple levels of response depending on the scenario that the weather brings. For example, the majority of weather events will warrant the community to shelter in place and more or less maintain “business as usual,” John explained. With the strength of the buildings and access to emergency power, staying put will keep everyone safe.
“Our first plan, depending on the storm, will be to shelter in place because these buildings are designed to withstand extreme wind loads,” John described. “From there, if it’s safest to evacuate, we have multiple backup plans such as temporarily moving to our sister community (Trinity Oaks), or a ‘softer’ location such as a hotel in the center of the state.”
Regardless of what the future will bring, Trinity Landing will be ready.
“We’re taking every measure to build structures that will withstand the storms that are growing in intensity, but we won’t be foolish about staying,” John said. “There will always be a backup plan, and we will always keep the ultimate safety of our residents in mind.”
We invite you to visit us to see how the future of Trinity Landing will take shape, and why it will be a great choice to land here. Simply click here to get in touch, or call 910-769-9600!