Lack of construction workers caused by Hurricane Harvey damage

Lack of construction workers caused by Hurricane Harvey damage
Source: KTRE
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Back in September, the Department of Public Safety reported that 15,000 homes in Texas were destroyed and even more damaged during Hurricane Harvey.

This increase in need for construction and labor workers has been met with people traveling to south Texas, leaving a gap in this job position in other areas.

Lufkin contractor Mike Hineman said that the flow of business has been good. But, Hineman and other contractors are still noticing a shortage of workers, who are busy working jobs in hurricane affected areas.

"There's an abundance of need," Hineman said. "You see it on Craigslist, or you'll see it in the paper that we need workers. So, they're going there because they're getting more to show up for emergency work or just a plentiful amount of work."

Jamie Landrum is a construction worker from East Texas, but he said that the situation down south can be tempting.

"Oh, yeah, it's unlimited," Landrum said. "You can go down there and get a job the first day you're down there. You got to hunt for a week down here."

Hineman said that the situation is also attractive to workers without families who are more willing to pick up multiple, quick jobs.

"Typically the more manual type labor that you lose out of Lufkin," said Hineman. "There's still enough to get things done, but you do notice that there's fewer here."

Hineman added that while his business might not be suffering, he understands home owners and their frustrations.

"It's not a bad thing for contractors to have more work than you can get done," Hineman said. "For the customers waiting on a job to get done, you're going to have to wait a bit longer to get somebody to come over and do the work."

According to FEMA, $378 million has been paid to those with homes affected.

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