USI Blog

Hurricane Irma Updates for Construction Services FL Operations

Construction Services Hurricane Irma Update, as of 9 am, Wednesday September 13th, 2017

Our Ft. Myers office now has power and internet access, but no phone land lines. Some staff will be in the office today, others will be working from afar. Most will be in the office tomorrow. Call or text their cell phones, since the office phones are out of service currently.

Supplier updates as follows:

Tibbetts Lumber is operational but does not have land lines. Until further notice, please contact Tim Johnson on his cell at 239-253-1702.

Zeiger Crane is operational. Call them at 561-882-1550.

Stuart’s Pompano location is operational.

Attaway Crane is operational. To schedule them, call Dave at 561-719-1644.

Environmental Concrete is operational.

Naples Lumber is operational.


Videos that tell part of the story

Good Morning America clip – morning broadcast on 9.13.17

Weather Channel summary of Irma’s impacts

Downtown Miami (Brickell Key) Flooding as Irma Passes


Construction Services Hurricane Irma Update, as of 4 pm, Tuesday September 12th, 2017

We have information from two of the vendors we had not yet heard back from earlier this morning:

CastCrete will open tomorrow for pre-loading. Deliveries in the field will resume on Thursday.

Big Johnson Concrete Pumping is open and can serve any sites we can get concrete deliveries to.


Construction Services Hurricane Irma Update, as of 1 pm, Tuesday September 12th, 2017

Our operational status is as follows:

Field teams on both coasts are finalizing their inspection and assessment of work-in-progress today. Thus far, remarkably few construction losses have been identified.

Fuel availability is a concern in many locations. In SW FL in particular the lines to refuel can be hours long. We and our vendors and subcontractors have to be careful with how we use the potential range of our vehicles so that we do not leave ourselves stranded.

The West coast office is without power and internet, and may be in that state until next week. Office personnel are requested to coordinate with their direct supervisor; and attempt to find an alternate location with power and internet access from which they can work until the office is back on line.

Communication to those in SW FL can be hit or miss. Access to power, internet, and/or cellular coverage can be challenging. Please use text when the other methods fail. It is the most likely to work when systems are taxed.

The East coast office is back on line and fully functional.

Regarding our material suppliers, the current information we have is as follows:


West coast

Environmental Concrete – No Response

Argos – W/C no response – Daytona – No Power at the plant

Cast-Crete – No Response

Cemex – Responded but did not know status for deliveries West Coast – Daytona – Fully Operational

WhiteCap – No Response

Stuart – see below

Huelett – Fully Operational

Naples Lumber – No Response

Tibbetts – No Response

Titan – Daytona – No Response

84 Lumber – Daytona – Limited deliveries today – resuming full deliveries tomorrow – Rail cars coming in Friday

Construction Materials –Daytona –  Fully operational

East coast

Adonel – Delivering out of FT. Lauderdale Only – Phones are down – txt Deya at 786-258-1173 for scheduling

Art Craft – Open – No office phones – Email Bret for scheduling in the interim – Bret Davis (Art Craft Metals) [email protected]

Cast – Crete – No Response

Construction Materials – Fully operational

Diligent – Fully Operational

Huelett – Fully Operational

Factory Direct – No Response

Jones Lumber – ½ Operational Fully operational by end of the week – stock low – waiting on details of when orders coming in

Mullins Lumber – Fully operational

SPS – The Builder Store – No Response

Elite – No Response

Stuart Building Products – see below

Cranes – No response yet from A Plus, Attaway, Stewert Crane, Zeiger Crane

Pumps – No Response yet from Big Johnson


Additionally… of 1:38 pm…..

Stuart Building Products – both plants are without power. East coast: any lots put on hold that had been already fabricated can be delivered upon release. Open for pick ups on hardware and deliveries.West coast: open Thursday for pick ups and deliveries to safe areas.

HD SUPPLY – opening all locations tomorrow.


Construction Services Hurricane Irma Update, as of 5 pm, Monday September 11th, 2017

Irma exited Florida today. Reports from our team thus far have been a mixed bag. Most on the East coast got away with minor damage to their homes and a fair amount of landscape damage. Many are without power. Those on the West coast did not fare quite as well, with some enduring catastrophic damage…..our hearts go out to them.

The West office should be up running via generator on Wednesday.  West employees with access to internet should work from afar tomorrow.The East office did not have power this afternoon, but we will check again tomorrow morning and make plans from there.

Construction Services Hurricane Irma Update, as of 5 pm, Saturday September 9th, 2017

The storm has now taken a distinct turn further west, and the cities most at risk are Naples, Ft. Myers, Sarasota and Tampa. While those of us on the east coast of Florida may breathe a sigh of relief, our concerns are heightened for our USI friends closer to the current track of the storm.

Construction Services Hurricane Irma Update, as of 5 am, Friday September 8th, 2017

With South Florida now within the three day forecast cone, there is a much higher level of accuracy to the predictions as compared to prior days. The path has shifted westward, now indicating landfall in Miami, then tracking towards Lake Okeechobee and points northward – Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala and later Lake City. With hurricane force winds extending 75 miles from the center, both coasts in South Florida will experience hurricane force winds, West Palm Beach being on the stronger side of the storm and Fort Myers being on the weaker side of the storm.

The peak day for will be Sunday (all day), with conditions improving to Tropical Storm force Monday morning. We should be able to check on our offices Monday afternoon, and return to some level of operations and recovery Tuesday. With that in mind, both Construction Services offices will be closed today and Monday.

All staff are reminded to be safe, and keep in contact with their co-workers and managers in any way possible post-storm. Please let others know if you need assistance. We are all willing to help, and some of us have off-road vehicles that can navigate disaster zones.


Construction Services Hurricane Irma Update, as of 5 am, Thursday September 7th, 2017

The predicted track of Irma is essentially unchanged from last night: landfall in S FL on Sunday, then tracking up the east coast of Florida into Monday. The variable at this juncture appears to be which part of the state will get hit. The hard northbound turn of the storm near Cuba will be the key. Your final preparations for the storm should be completed Friday, as tropical storm force winds are predicted for Saturday. As many in S FL choose to evacuate, the “news” for today seems to be traffic jams on the major northbound routes, and gas availability. You can use this website to identify local gas stations that actually have gas: GasBuddy  .

Our West coast office personnel are working from home today, due to the continue lack of phone and internet. We have a skeleton crew of dedicated office staff in the East office, attending to early payment of labor contractors (that would typically have been paid tomorrow). Once that is completed, we’ll be closing the East office to allow those remaining personnel to attend to their own families and storm preparation.


West office without phones or internet

The Ft. Myers office of both USI Construction Services and USI West Coast Insulation was without internet or office phone both yesterday and today — forcing office employees to find internet access to our systems from elsewhere. Comcast is aware and allegedly “working on it”, but as of mid-afternoon on September 6th, the services are still down. Please contact our team on their cell phones until the situation is resolved.

Construction Services Hurricane Irma Update, as of 8 am, Wednesday September 6th, 2017

Today, Irma is passing over the Virgin Islands as a strong Cat 4 storm. The center of Irma is now predicted to be over Lake Okeechobee by 2 am Monday morning, with landfall Sunday evening near the upper Keys. Hurricane force winds currently extend out around 50 miles from the eye, with tropical storm force winds extending well over 100 miles out.

Local school districts are closed tomorrow and Friday.

Government offices will be closed Friday.

Construction Services will follow suit and be closed Friday, with a high probability of being closed Monday as well, if Irma is still passing through South Florida at that time. Please watch this blog for updates regarding our operating status next week.

For information on evacuation status, routes and zones, please reference the  FL Dep’t of Emergency Management’s website .

Please take time over the next few days to prepare yourselves for what is now a likely threat.

Be safe.

Construction Services Hurricane Irma Update, as of 2 pm, Tuesday September 5th, 2017

As with Hurricane Matthew last Fall, we will be using the USI blog as a method of communicating our operational status as the storm approaches and in the days immediately following its passage.

NOAA Irma Hurricane track

We are already in the full-blow hurricane prep “mode”, cleaning our clients’ job sites of debris and any stocked materials that will not be used in the next few work days. The goal is to ensure that we complete construction phases over the next few days to leave the partially built structures in the most storm-resistant status. When called for, construction will be delayed to prevent fragile work-in-place during the storm’s arrival. We are in close collaboration with our builder clients, responding to their emergency management plans.

With the present maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, and a current predicted path taking Irma towards South Florida, the situation warrants our continued attention. We will support both our clients and our staff to the best of our ability.

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