LBM dealers and the companies that serve them have played a large role in the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Florence caused an estimated $17 billion to $22 billion in damage to the Carolinas in mid-September. Dealers in North Carolina and nearby areas faced a quick turnaround in preparing for and recovering from their own damage, to serving their communities with as many supplies and materials as possible.
John Evans, Owner and President of Garris Evans Lumber headquartered in Greenville, N.C., said that his stores only took on minor damage from the hurricane. The company’s locations in New Bern, Jacksonville, and Shallotte were closed for two-and-a-half days, he said. The Jacksonville and Shallotte stores were also closed for a few days after the storm passed.
While new construction has essentially halted in the area, Evans said, the store did stock up on plenty of storm-related items for its DIY and retail customers.
“Some will sell, some we’ll have on hand for a while,” he said. “We got pumps, generators. I may have bought too many. We also got in clean up suits, chainsaws, gas cans, and a whole lot of roof tarps.”
The area around New Bern has severely flooded, he said, and talk of rebuilding is still some time off after thousands of homes are assessed.
“There’s still lots of cleanup work to do,” Evans said.
To aid in cleanup efforts, a number of companies serving the LBM industry have donated time and resources.
• Do it Best Corp. made a $10,000 donation to the American Red Cross of Central South Carolina. The donation was presented on behalf of the international home improvement co-op’s Lexington, S.C. -based distribution center. The donation is in support of the American Red Cross’ ongoing recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Do it Best Corp.’s Lexington warehouse sent a fleet of additional trucks out ahead of the storm to ensure members were stocked and supplied. In total, the buying co-op assisted more than 50 member stores, sending trucks loaded with supplies before the storm, as well as an additional series of emergency deliveries afterward to Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
• 84 Lumber has donated $10,000 to the , along with $500 to in New Bern. The company also partnered with to donate a 53-foot-long tractor trailer for the collection and transport of water, clothing, cleaning supplies, dog food and other necessities to New Bern, one of the hardest-hit areas.
• Simpson Strong-Tie donated $15,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to assist Hurricane Florence relief efforts.
To make a contribution and aid in disaster recovery efforts through the American Red Cross, visit redcross.org or send a donation to your local Red Cross chapter.