Killer Alabama Tornadoes Didn’t Discriminate – Tragic Yet Powerful Storms vs. Manufactured Housing, Conventional & Commercial Construction Insights


Roughly 40 storms that struck 4 states were among the “tornados that devastated our state and left 23 people dead” said the Alabama Manufactured Housing Association’s Lance Latham to the Daily Business News on MHProNews. The tragic deaths apparently occurred in all types of construction, conventional housing, and factory-built housing too.

Dozens of souls are injured.  How many are missing that once found could cause an increase to the final death toll?

Conventional housing, commercial buildings, and manufactured homes were all ravaged by the tornadoes that brought President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump to Lee County, AL on Friday to tour the devastation, comfort the grieving, and thank recovery workers.

The tragedies have focused a grim spotlight on how much better manufactured homes performed than some untrained eyes may realize.

Beyond Death, Destruction and Injuries – Sobering Surprises?

In the background of the reporter in this first video by is a HUD Code manufactured home.  Trees are stripped and down. Nearby is what appears to be some structure that was swept away. But the manufactured home, with the roof partially ripped away, nevertheless is still standing. A Coca-Cola truck is tipped over right by it.

ABC News filed this next report.

What their video above doesn’t specify is that the commercial structure in their opening still and is this factoid.  That commercial structure – a bar-  lost its entire roof.  It appears to be the same building in this next raw footage from the video surveillance cameras, which shows the approaching tornado. ABC’s report suggests the connection between the video below and their story.

Rephrased, the raw video below is of this devastated commercial building seen in the opening still above of the ABC News report. Why is that detail of interest to industry professionals, advocates, and others?

Because those details suggest that the manufactured home in the footage apparently better survived the horror of this powerful storm than that commercial building – that bar – in the ABC News report did. There is other visual evidence one can spot in these various videos that reflect a contrarian reality to the commonly believed thoughts about manufactured homes.  They have to be tough, because they have to be moved to their location.  Industry pros must get that, so that the public learns it.

These are the kinds of facts that industry professionals, advocates, weather professionals, researchers, and public officials need to be made better aware of, for the sake of all. stated that “At least four of the 23 people killed in Sunday’s tornado outbreak in Lee County were said to have been inside mobile homes.”  As the facts become better known, we plan to do a report for Manufactured Home Living News.

ABC said that one of the twisters was an EF4, with 170 mile per hour winds. That storm was nearly a mile wide, reportedly cutting a path of over twenty miles of devastation.

Yet, the stills from the ABC video reveals some manufactured homes in the distance appear to have survived the deadly and diabolically destructive storm.



National Weather Service Insights

To better understand this issue of windstorms and manufactured housing, see the MHLivingNews report, which includes an official statement by a National Weather Service (NWS) statement that ought to be required reading for every weatherman, manufactured home researcher, and advocate.

See the video and special report, at this page, linked below.

Killer Storms

Tornadoes kill. Lightening, hurricanes, or even straight winds can be murders too.

But deaths during weather events aren’t caused by a type of housing or construction. Remember that the destructive tornado that struck Joplin, MO destroyed conventional housing only.  There are urban legends and ‘mobile homes are tornado magnet’ myths that must be debunked almost every time such an event sadly occurs. You can’t stop Mother Nature from doing what she’s done decades before the first mobile home, or later, manufactured homes, were built.


Storm strikes are not easy to predict, which is part of the danger.  But thankfully, the fatalities – while tragic – are relatively tiny compared to other causes of death, like automotive accidents.

So it isn’t housing types that cause deaths. Those fatalities are caused by storms. Flying poles, trees, metal and other objects can penetrate the envelope of most types of construction. Once a structure’s envelope is breeched during a windstorm, it can get ripped apart.

This is an issues that haunts our industry, because not enough has been done by industry leaders to allay the fear that causes many to never consider a manufactured home because of skewed perceptions about this troubling issue.  It should be noted that the journalists in these posted videos didn’t bad mouth manufactured homes.

No one wants to see any premature deaths. MHProNews extends its condolences to all who have suffered losses.

See the related reports for more storms and manufactured housing fact-based insights. That’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing”  © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for

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