Ottawa family shares lesson learned after home deemed unsafe months after tornado

Canada

If it weren’t for two broken windows, some debris still stuck in the shutters and the neon green dumpster in her driveway, someone walking by Renata Scorsone’s house might never know it had been in the path of an EF-2 tornado that blasted through Ottawa’s west end five months ago.Story continues below

In fact, when compared to other homes in the Craig Henry neighbourhood still covered by house wrap, Scorsone’s two-storey home appears to be in pretty good shape. But, as Scorsone learned late in the game, looks can be deceiving.MORE: In photos: Ottawa-area tornado leaves broken power lines, levelled homes, fallen trees in its wake (Sept. 22, 2018)Nearly three months after the violent twister hit, she and her husband found out mid-December — about a week and a half before Christmas — that the plates holding their roof trusses together had loosened and it was unsafe for them to be living in the house.“It was a bit of a gut punch,” Scorsone said in an interview with Global News in late February. “It was hard to comprehend because it’s fine, it looks fine. There’s no leaks.“There hadn’t been any reason to believe the house was unsafe.”Scorsone said she and her husband would have never found out the structural integrity of their roof had been “significantly compromised” had they not insisted on having their home assessed by a structural engineer when the service provider contracted by their insurance company was submitting the damage estimates for their home.trussplate 2An image from the engineering report that determined Renata Scorsone’s roof was structurally unsound as a result of a damage sustained during an EF-2 tornado. The report found that the roof truss plates had loosened, Scorsone said.Photo supplied by Renata Scorsonetrussplate 3An image from the engineering report that determined Renata Scorsone’s home was structurally unsound as a result of a damage sustained during an EF-2 tornado. The report found that the roof truss plates had loosened, Scorsone said.Photo supplied by Renata Scorsonetruss plateAn image from the engineering report that determined Renata Scorsone’s home was structurally unsound as a result of a damage sustained during an EF-2 tornado. The report found that the roof truss plates had loosened, Scorsone said.Photo supplied by Renata ScorsoneThe project manager assigned to her house didn’t see any visible damage that suggested a structural engineer should be called in, according to Scorsone, but she and her husband didn’t want to take any chances.The service provider filed their request and insurance approved it, but Scorsone said she wants to share her family’s experience in case any other Ottawa residents affected by the tornadoes either were told a structural engineering assessment wasn’t necessary, thought about asking for one but never did, or didn’t even know it was an option.“It worries me that there might be people in the same situation as us that just don’t even know it,” she said.“It worries me that a few years down the line, there’s either going to be another storm … or they try to sell their home and a housing inspector comes in and finds out something that was missed.“…Know what you’re able to ask for. It does cost a lot of money… they’re not going to jump at the chance to send out a structural engineer.”WATCH (Sept. 24, 2018): The Ottawa tornado’s path of destruction

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