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Executive Voice

Spencer Blank of Red Cliff Builders Chases The Storm

When it comes to rebuilding after a hurricane, the first problem is knowing where to begin. With universal devastation as far as the eye can see, trying to craft a rebuilding plan seems almost futile. It is more a question of simply picking a corner to start on and get busy shoveling. With enough manpower and enough shovels, the job eventually gets done.

For Spencer Blank and his company, Red Cliff Builders of Boca Raton, FL, the great hurricane that hit Lake Charles in 2020 was just another day in the office for one of the Gulf Coast’s premier restoration specialists. When a large part of your business involves repairing hurricane damage, you go where the wind takes you, even if it is far from your home base in Florida. 

How Spencer Blank Rebuilt Lake Charles

As always, you begin by picking a corner to start shoveling. With so many damaged homes and businesses, the local construction industry was overwhelmed by the scope of the project. Every additional man who had the skills to do the job was welcome to lend a hand.

For those first on the scene, it was even more of a struggle since the basic utilities were all out of service. For quite some time, the work had to go forward to the sound of roaring generators even while the linemen reset poles and restrung cable.

Nor was it made easier by the fact that Hurricane Laura was not the first calamity to strike Lake Charles in 2020. That honor, if you could call it that, was held by the COVID-19 pandemic. This made recovery efforts so much harder both due to the need for workers to use caution but also due to the collapse in manufacturing. This led to nationwide shortages of all sorts of building materials.

Cleanup And The Future

Even as contractors drove all over the South in search of building materials, crews were hard at work doing the most disagreeable part of hurricane restoration. Mucking everything out in sweltering Gulf Coast heat and humidity is never a pleasant job, but it is one that needs to be done as quickly as possible. 

Water and dirt plus a heavy dose of sunshine lead to mold. It is critical to get all the damaged building materials stripped out of a home as rapidly as possible before decay sets in. Once the site is clear and whatever remains of the homeowner’s salvageable personal property has been rescued, the actual construction part of the work can begin.

Spencer and his crew have done this kind of work for many years so they understand all of the challenges necessary to get the job done. Even as they prep the site for rebuilding and scour the hinterlands for lumber and supplies, there is a third front to fight on as well. Local building departments are always overwhelmed by hurricane damage. Getting plans and permits approved is another critical step that must be attended to.

One might think that pulling this all together and making it work out well in a distant state is actually quite an accomplishment. Yet the power of a hurricane is the same no matter what neighborhood it lands in. You have to work with a different cast of characters but the job remains the same. You need to get some distressed person back in their newly-restored home as quickly as possible. It is a job that comes with no excuses. You have to get it done, no matter what sort of unforeseen circumstances crop up.

It speaks well of Red Cliff Builders’ reputation for quality and efficiency that people from three states away would choose them to be the ones to do the job.

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