Many industries are affected by extreme weather conditions, but contractors are hit especially hard. Any jobs that are being done outside are affected by even mildly inclement weather, which often means that construction delays require workers to hold off until the poor weather passes. For the last several years, October has been a big month for intense tropical storms—in 2011 there was a tremendous Nor’easter that dropped about a foot of snow onto Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and up to two feet in New England. In 2012, Superstorm Sandy completely devastated the New Jersey and Long Island coastlines, and paralyzed the North East for several days, with recovery efforts still in effect nearly a year later.
Recent Construction Delays
Last week, Tropical Storm Karen started developing over the Yucatan Peninsula off the Gulf of Mexico. At its earliest stages, it was carrying sustained winds of about 65mph. It was expected to hit the coast of Florida/Alabama on Saturday night, and winds were expected to range from anywhere to 40-74+mph. Expected rainfall was estimated from 5-10+ inches before the storm hit the ground. The storm was subsequently expected to simmer down as it traveled up the coast, but rain was still to be expected from 2-4in in any location that was projected to be affected.
People in Louisiana, who have been ravaged by severe storms since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, prepared for Karen by putting out over 40,000 sandbags to protect against flooding. Those who were interviewed by news sources said they felt blessed for having been spared the wreckage they’ve experience in previous storms. Ultimately, winds maxed out at 65mph when it hit land, and as the stormed moved northward, it progressively lost strength. The remnants are still affecting the NY area, and some people have lost power this evening due to the rain and winds, but after what we experienced with Sandy, not having power for a few hours won’t be the end of the world.
Fortunately this storm won’t cause too many construction delays, but what’s in store for the rest of the tropical storm season? Weather experts have noted that there is a significant buildup of cold air and high pressure in the works over Greenland, and that there’s a good chance that air may wind up being pumped out over the eastern US. This will only be a real problem if the cold air arrives at the same time as a strong storm, because that’s how these tropical storms go from bad to worse. Experts expect we may be in for some intense weather from now through November, but we’ve got our fingers crossed for mild weather, so that our contractor friends can get as much work in as possible! Stay tuned for weather updates as they develop!