One year later, roofers still slammed with repairs and replaceme - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

One year later, roofers still slammed with repairs and replacements from November Windstorm

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Courtesy: Natanya Hegge Courtesy: Natanya Hegge
SPOKANE, Wash. -

“Right now is supposed to be vacation time, but there is a lot of work to do.”

That's what roofers around the Inland Northwest were saying nearly a year ago, and they're still waiting to take that vacation.

“Busy, very busy since that storm,” said roofer Bill Lindelof. “Working six, seven days a week.”

“I was up north driving back and trees were snapping like tooth picks and it got my attention for sure,” said owner of Spokane Roofing Company, Jeff Sitton. “But I still didn't realize how much of an impact it was going to be to the community.”

Sitton knew the storm was going to be bad, but the magnitude of the damage was something no one was prepared for.

“The following day, November 18th, it was an absolute mad rush,” said Sitton. “We have five phone lines and every one of them was lit up like a Christmas tree, and we had hundreds of voicemails at the end of each day.”

The storm left its mark on the inland northwest. Like the invisible hands of giants, the winds ripped roofs off countless homes.

“For the first two weeks it was just kind of disaster mode,” said Sitton. “Dealing with the worst of the worst.”

“We had repairs, jobs, tarps,” said Lindelof. “I mean this has been one of the biggest years in the industry since the expo.”

Looking at a tall stack of work orders on Sitton’s desk, one would think the storm created a gold mine for roofers, but that's not exactly the case.

“The storm chasers, if you will, not good for community or for us.”

Sitton says after the storm passed through, roofing companies from across the country swept in, patched up, and packed out.

“They in many cases have left homeowners with uncompleted roofs,” said Sitton. “Things weren't done correctly.”

Not only did this add to the endless backlog of repairs and replacements, but Sitton also says it's bad for business.

“Bad reputation,” said Sitton. “Roofing is a tough industry and it always has been.”

And things aren't going to get any easier anytime soon. Sitton says they're booked through next spring.

“It's the biggest storm that I’ve dealt with.”

And although he can't see the light at the end of the tunnel just yet, Sitton is looking forward to a well-deserved vacation.

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