For the past three years I've been working on a wireless telephone
project in Haiti, just a short plane ride from Miami. Our network consists
of many self-supporting towers that we specified to withstand sustained 120
My point is that most commercial tower systems are designed to meet or
exceed some wind-speed specification. Depending on the location, some
installations are more robust than others in terms of wind survivability.
But something to withstand 175 mph-plus winds? It can be done, but with
considerably more $$ than for a 120 mph design. Remember - the force
increases with the square of the wind velocity.
My professional guess is that very few for-profit entities (cellular
phone company or broadcaster, for example) would choose to build something
to withstand that level of wind intensity - something that supposedly comes
along once in a generation. It's cheaper to rebuild after the storm than to
pay the carrying costs (interest) on a monstrosity of a tower that in all
likelihood might never have withstand such forces.
Gene Smar AD3F
From: Rob Atkinson, K5UJ <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2002 5:44 PM
Subject: [Towertalk] Towers in Hurricanes
>This is a question for the tower professionals (but of course anyone can
>The local newspaper's wx section yesterday had a writeup about Hurricane
>Andrew since this was the 10th anniv. of its landfall. It stated that it
>sustained winds of 165 mph with gusts of over 175 mph., when it hit Fla.
>just south of Miami. As a ham I naturally thought first of the Miami area
>commercial towers (was pretty sure ham antennas all blew down) and wondered
>if they were built down there to make it through something like that? Are
>commercial towers for tv and radio etc. built for something like that down
>there or does everyone keep their fingers crossed and stay out of the way
>downwind of the towers and get the heck out of town? I can't imagine
>building a tall tower that could survive an extended blast of cat. 5
>hurricane. Just wondering.
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