EDGECOMBE COUNTY — Workers from Ohio are helping rebuild flood-ravaged neighborhoods in eastern North Carolina.
Storm Troopers is a private business that does nothing but repair storm damage. Because its work is so specialized, workers can renovate a home from top to bottom in just four to seven weeks.
More than 100 Edgecombe County homeowners, including Melvin Bertrand, have opted to hire the out-of-state contractor.
The group operates so efficiently, Betrand will move out of a temporary trailer and back into his home all within a few days.
"Every day, every time I go in there it looks better and better," he says.
Storm Troopers is able to work on hundreds of homes at a time. A group of workers is currently working on 120 homes in the eastern part of the state.
Robert McKee started the business 11 years ago while he was in college. He buys materials in bulk so he can charge less and do more jobs.
"Where a contractor may do 10 jobs a year, we will probably do 300 to 400 jobs this year. Therefore we can operate for a $2,000 profit margin rather than a $10,000 profit margin," says McKee.
Because there is so much work due to Hurricane Floyd, McKee is moving his business to Tarboro.
He has already hired about 50 employees from this area, and works with about 40 subcontractors who are glad to be paired up with someone who has weathered storm damage before.