How to avoid ‘Storm Chasers’ while repairing your home after Hurricane Sally

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BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — As people rush to get damage to their property taken care of after Hurricane Sally, scammers are waiting!

One woman and her husband tell WKRG News 5’s Amber Grigley, that out-of-state contractors are flocking to our area like fleas, offering services at a cheaper rate but a bigger headache in the long run.

“We’ve had five trees to come down. Took my son’s room. There’s water damage in the living room, floors are coming up,” said Kimberly Baker.

“This 70-foot pine tree has fallen on the side of our house,” said Jackie Zumsteg.

One week later and the devastation from Hurricane Sally is still lingering along the Gulf. Although the process to repair may be moving a lot smoother for some.

“We ended up having to call family in town to help chop all of the trees down,” said Baker.

For others like Zumsteg, their road to recovery is off to a bumpy start.

Zumsteg said she called around looking for someone to remove the tree, but with long waiting lists, odds were against her. She received a knock on her door from a contractor out of North Carolina, and she thought her worries were over. A lot of promises later, the contractor has not been back to do the job.

“It makes it hard to get on with what you need to do when you assume someone is going to be here and they’re not,” Zumsteg said.

“I’ve seen a lot of signs from where I live. From Lake Martin, Stewart, Fla., Arkansas. They come in with no business license, workers that are not trained to do the work,” said Monde Donaldson with the Better Business Bureau.

Donaldson said quick fixes and broken promises are common, but it doesn’t have to be your story.

“Check out the company, get a written contract and go slow if you can,” Donaldson said.

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