All hail Oklahoma: Another storm leaves another wide swath of damage

Local roofers say local contractors can handle the repair work at hand; price stabilization law goes into effect; 2010 roofer registration law meant to protect consumers against fly-by-nights; state attorney general warns against fraud.
by Richard Mize Published: May 31, 2012

Out-of-state “storm chaser” roofing companies that popped up in Oklahoma City after the massive May 2010 storms did what they usually do.

They left.

But some roofing company startups popped up in response to the demand, which lasted for months and months — and they've stuck it out.

“The hailstorm of 2010 was considered the storm of the year by professional hailstorm chasers. There was a trainload of storm chasers from all across America that converged on Oklahoma City and caused all kinds of mass confusion with homeowners,” said J.R. Emrich, president of Reroof America Contractors LLC and Metro Roofing Co. Inc., based in Edmond.

The fly-by-nights “left town without saying goodbye, and left behind lots of homeowners with shoddy and leaky roofs,” Emrich said. “However, a lot of those startup companies from 2010 did stay in Oklahoma City and set up shop after the storm, and we currently have more than twice as many roofing contractors in Oklahoma City as we did before the 2010 hailstorm.”

No need for hard sell

With more roofers already here, there's even less reason to be wary of the hard sell, said Brad Neff, owner of Heartland Roofing & Exteriors in Bethany.

“Please be patient and don't panic,” he said. “We local roofers can handle the damage. Use local. Keep the dollars in the state, and more importantly, don't risk using someone who won't be here when the next storm hits Minneapolis or St. Louis. I have spent more time fixing messes created by out-of-town roofers who are no longer here, and it is disheartening.”

At least one supplier does his part to shore up local roofers when they have to contend with the “storm chasers.' Mike Curtis, owner of Crossroads Roofing Supply, said his company gives priority to locally owned roofing companies, especially after big storms.

“It's important to us that both our contractors and the end client are taken care of, and locally owned contractors are more likely to respond quickly to home and business owners should there be issues with a roof after the fact,” Curtis said.

Price stabilization

In a related move, Oklahoma's Emergency Price Stabilization Act went into effect in 35 counties after Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency due to storms, winds and flooding. The counties are Alfalfa, Blaine, Bryan, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Creek, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Harper, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Latimer, Lincoln, Logan, Love, Major, McClain, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Pittsburg, Pottawatomie, Stephens, Tillman, Tulsa, Washita, Woods and Woodward.

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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We know from past experience that this type of damage attracts criminals looking for ways to take advantage of Oklahomans.”

Attorney General Scott Pruitt

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