Three days of stormy weather at the beginning of April has caused millions of dollars in damages to businesses and homes throughout both Effingham and Bryan county.
The National Weather Service announced that the fatal tornado that struck Bryan County, Georgia, on April 5 has been upgraded to an EF - 4 intensity with winds of 185 mph. This surpasses the 170 mph tornado that occurred in Iowa in March, making it the strongest so far in 2022.The tornado began just west of the Bryan County Courthouse in Pembroke, where it damaged part of the roof, blew out windows, and snapped numerous trees. The tornado then continued northeast passing through Hendrix Park, the Park Place subdivision and over the Black Creek Golf Course, where it reached 185 mph with a width estimated to be approximately three-quarters of a mile wide.
The Ellebell area saw baseball-sized hail 2.75” destroy cars, roofs, siding and windows. Guyton, Rincon and Springfield had hail reports ranging in size from 1.5”– 2.75”.
The aftermath from the high number of property’s damaged have already begun.
Beware of “Storm-Chaser” Style Roofing and Construction Companies
In Effingham, the Sheriff made social media posts to alert homeowners. “Effingham County Sheriff’s Office has been made aware of some unscrupulous people who are taking advantage of a tragic situation. Out of town roofers and construction workers are going door-to-door soliciting business and doing so without a permit. If anyone knocks on your door without a permit just know they have not been vetted through the Sheriff’s Office and may not be representing a legitimate business or have reputable business practices. Please call the sheriffs office if this is happening to you, 912-754-3449”.
Sargent L. Scholes of the Effingham Sheriff’s office, will be in charge and is tasked with making sure contractors are properly vetted to approach homeowner’s and that the county ordinances are all being followed. He said, “I have told my deputies that we will be aggressive in enforcing the county ordinances as it pertains to solicitation and to contractors performing home repairs.”
According to Sargent Scholes, properly vetted contractors will have a permit, as well as an ID badge that they can show to anyone who asks. The county is working hard to get the documents into good contractor’s hands and if a contractor has paid for the background check and submitted all the required documents, there will be a record on file that homeowner’s can check out, until the ID’s physically arrive.
A drive in one effected neighborhood off Rincon-Stillwell road saw several yard signs with out of state area codes. These types of contractors might not observe the regulations like a local roofer will do. According to Sgt. Scholes, there could be complaints in the future when “storm-chaser” styled companies move on, leaving behind shoddy work or incomplete projects.
Local Experts Represent Your Best Interests
Jeff Watters from C&N Construction, a Savannah full service contractor, is already busy due to the fact that his company not only replaces damaged roofing but also fixes siding, windows, gutters, decks, and more.
“Homeowner’s should have a trusted local expert on-hand when their insurance company sends an adjuster out to assess the damage. An adjuster is not there for the homeowner’s-—they are there for the insurance company, smart homeowners get someone out to represent their best interests.” Watters continued, “Hail can damage siding, windows, aluminum trim, gutters, fencing and decks. A professional inspection will document everything so that insurance will include the total repairs in a claim.
Dale Shoemaker is the Savannah Director for C&N Construction, “of course homeowner’s are nervous after a storm-and rightly so. There is more work than there are reputable contractors, meaning folks might get burned by trusting their home to a here today-gone tomorrow roofer. We have an A+ rating with the BBB. Our company is also a GAF Master Elite contractor. Less than 1% of all roofers earn this accreditation.” He continued, “it means we can offer a warranty like no other local roofer.”
Shoemaker suggests checking to see if your roofer is local, “We have an office right on Mall road that is open to the public. Homeowner’s love the idea that they can hire a local full service contractor to handle their entire claim, and get them more from their insurance settlement,” he explained.
As the community begins the long recovery process, homeowners will want to keep an eye on hurricane season which begins in June. Damaged roofs cannot survive new wind storms. The Savannah area is 4th on the list of areas hit by named storms (hurricanes, tropical storms) averaging one every 26 months. It has been over 30 months since our last one!
401 Mall blvd UNIT #103