Codes Enforcement Questioned In Wake Of Deadly Storms - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Codes Enforcement Questioned In Wake Of Deadly Storms

Lafayette City Codes Inspector Keith Scruggs Lafayette City Codes Inspector Keith Scruggs

LAFAYETTE, Tenn. - A month ago, a series of tornadoes ripped across the state, killing more than 30 people.

The storms also destroyed many homes and businesses.

In Macon County, some people blame shoddy construction and limited codes enforcement on the extent of the building damages.

Don Barnes said he never saw an inspector during the nine months it took to build his home last year.

"There was an electrical inspector who came out and checked the electrical aspects. But beyond that, none of the other aspects for construction," Barnes said.

Two builders said that codes enforcement is virtually nonexistent in the county, one of the state's hardest-hit areas during the Feb. 5 storms. Tornadoes destroyed about 400 homes in the county.

"Building codes just did not play a part in this," said Lafayette City Codes Inspector Keith Scruggs.

Scruggs said the county enforces building codes.

"We go out and look at them three or four times, as they're being built," he said, adding that the department works hard

On Jan. 1, the county adopted more stringent international codes guidelines, Scruggs said.

The city and county codes inspectors in Lafayette said no city or county is required to have codes enforcement. The county admits there is always room for improvement.

No one told NewsChannel 5 that fewer people would've died in the tornadoes with better construction.

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