MythBusters for wind versus water damage

J. Arn Womble, Douglas A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Recent tropical storms such as Hurricanes Ivan (2004), Katrina (2005), and Ike (2008) have resulted in elevated levels of wind and storm surge. With the potential for both wind and storm surge to cause damage to coastal structures, questions have continually arisen as to what damage was caused by wind and what damage was caused by storm surge. Such questions are further complicated when a structure is destroyed, leaving little-to-no direct evidence of the exact damage sequence. In reviewing numerous reports addressing wind versus water damage causation in Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi, we have observed a host of implausible failure theories that can be potentially misleading. This paper examines common misconceptions encountered in the wind versus water debate and provides guidance for application of the appropriate physical principles.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009
Event11th Americas Conference on Wind Engineering - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: Jun 22 2009Jun 26 2009


Conference11th Americas Conference on Wind Engineering
CountryPuerto Rico
CitySan Juan


Cite this

Womble, J. A., & Smith, D. A. (2009). MythBusters for wind versus water damage. Paper presented at 11th Americas Conference on Wind Engineering, San Juan, Puerto Rico.