It was a dark and dreary night

Today the stormy weather has traversed Spring Branch, Canyon Lake, New Braunfels, Wimberley, San Marcos, Kyle, Buda, and beyond. The state is taking a soaking, but it does not compare to the pounding one of my custom homes received years ago.

We were building atop a hill overlooking the neighborhood, much like the hilltop remodeled homes and additions in our fabulous hill country. The day started out so bright and sunny and we commenced construction of the 40′ walls. As the day progressed, we began to lift and install the walls of the two-story house.  We noticed the clouds forming, until the sky over the construction site looked quite ominous.

This was before the internet, so I called the fire department to find out what kind of strength the storm was supposed to have. The fire chief was well-informed, as is our great New Braunfels fire department chief, and I was told it was going to be a doozie of a storm. We raised the fourth wall and began bracing them all with double studs 6′ apart at a 45 degree angle. When we were finished, we surveyed the braces and felt confident the walls would be able to withstand all but a tornado that we occasionally see in Kyle and Buda.

The owners called me at 3am that night. They had stopped by after a New Year’s Eve party to see how the framing had weathered the storm and found their walls were down the hill, scattered over three neighboring homes. I rushed to see for myself and met them in their drenched tuxedo and evening gown. All the second story walls and double-studded braces were shredded into toothpicks. Thank goodness for my insurance company and understanding clients.

I couldn’t believe it, folks, that was one granddaddy of a storm – worse than a hurricane that often affects us here in New Braunfels and the hill country.

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