Challenging work has always been the hallmark of our business. Removing water damage from every floor of a four-story business while also working so mission critical offices could stay open … been there, done that. Repairing damage caused by two direct hits from hurricanes in 2004 to South Florida with no power and no utilities, yep been there too. But in October of 2018 all of our previous experiences seemed miniscule to the level of devastation and challenge we encountered in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael’s slow walk through the Florida Panhandle.
After Michael finally cleared out, we rallied our service teams to begin immediate remediation efforts to help our clients dig out and clean up. This is what we do, we had a plan, we had the resources, we had our mission. What is the saying, “the best laid plans of mice and men,” that now seems appropriate.
Our crews slowly inched their way across I-10 towards our destination with traffic almost at a standstill. Upon our arrival we realized something was terribly different about this event. It felt more like we were entering a war zone than the thriving vacation destination Panama Beach was just 48 hours prior. The amount of damage was indescribable. I don’t remember much being said in the crew trucks; most of us just sat silently. Part of you wants to say this is impossible, part of you wants to say we can get started after the roads clear, part of you wants to say it’s a total loss. But that is not the part we listened to.
The number of service technicians we brought with us was grossly insufficient, there was no power, no water, nowhere to sleep, nowhere to eat. A war zone. This was going to be way more challenging than we planned for, but we were there and determined to figure it out.