The May 8 storm that brought straight-line winds that toppled trees in Longview and triggered power failures throughout the area has been a boon to roofers and other contractors who are repairing damaged homes and businesses.
Since the storm, roofers and other contractors have applied for and been issued residential alteration and other permits to make repairs so that residents can return to homes that are livable.
One contractor, Danny Lee, owner of Omni Construction, said the storm has done the most damage monetarily, even accounting for inflation, in the 39 years that he has done business in the city.
“We have over a million dollars in contracts that are strictly storm-related,” Lee said Thursday. He said some of the work stems from the March 14 storm in Kilgore.
Longview city officials prepared an interactive map that says the storm destroyed three structures, did major damage to 135 other structures, caused minor damage to 113 and affected the habitability of 62 others. A majority of them are homes, city spokesman Shawn Hara said.
The damage has created work for contractors who said they already were busy. The city’s Development Services Department issued seven residential alteration permits that specifically cited storm damage during the week that ended Wednesday and 13 residential alteration permits that mentioned storm damage during the week that ended June 5.
Six of the permits issued during the week that ended June 5 went to Lee of Omni. In addition to repairing roofs, his work has included rafters, drywall, exterior and interior finishes and wall framing.
Lee, who does residential and commercial work, said he has 20 projects going. He said one of the biggest ones is $130,000 for tree damage to a two-story apartment complex on Serendipity Lane.
“We are really not normally as busy all at once,” Lee said. He said he expects the projects to take four months.
Other contractors are seeing a piece of the action, too.
Both JCJ & Associates and Davidson Builders were issued one permit for residential alteration May 30, city records show.
“I was already busy,” said JCJ owner Jack Jenkins, who pulled a permit to repair damage to a garage roof at a house on Regency Drive. “The storm kind of added to it.”
Jenkins said he is working on five storm-related jobs now, but not strictly in Longview.
Davidson owner Edwin Davidson, who pulled a permit May 30 to repair framing, decking and wallboard to a house on Swan Street, said he is working on storm repairs to four homes in Longview.
“I’m a builder, but I do roofing, also,” he said. “I had referrals from some of my roofers.”