Industrial Demolition Contractors are Key to Clean Up After a Flood

Flooding in Cedar Rapids, IAIndustrial demolition contractors are often instrumental in cleaning up after floods. When torrential floodwater surged through Colorado’s Coal Creek Canyon in Colorado last November, it was extremely devastating to many residents, but on the flip side, flood recovery provided opportunities to put local businesses, to work as second responders to the natural disaster. We will review how industrial demolition contractors help clean up flood zones, with the Colorado flooding as a case study.

Coal Creek Canyon Flood: The Extent of the Damage

Heavy flooding in Colorado’s Coal Creek Canyon in November 2013 left many homes with large 10-12’ stumps and braches piled up around their premises. Bridges and culverts were washed out, creating huge ditches that in some cases were 25’ wide and 20’ deep! Pets were left behind, along with full refrigerators in homes with no power. When the evacuation order was lifted, serious work needed to be done before people were able to return to their homes—and it needed to be done quickly.

The State of Colorado called on the services of National Demolition Association member, Fiore & Sons, a Denver firm that was prequalified for emergency response, who collaborated along with another firm, Lawrence Construction, a heavy civil construction company. The two companies went to work within 24 hours of getting the call. People had to return to their homes, but trees, utility wires and other debris blocked the highway. In addition there was the danger of exposed gas lines. Parts of the highway were also severely damaged, which restricted traffic to one lane in many areas. Crews worked around the clock to clear the debris and return the highway to working condition.

Continuing Recovery Efforts

Hundreds of miles of roads had been washed out by floodwaters. It became clear to Colorado officials there that much of the recovery depended on restoring and repairing damaged sections of highway. The equipment used included a front-end loader, small skip loaders for tight spots, as well as a fairly large excavator for doing the asphalt and pavement demolition. Tractor-trailers, dump trucks, and tandem trucks were also used for hauling materials, mainly imported crushed rock to be used as shoulder material.

Demolition Companies as Natural Disaster Second Responders

Demolition Specialists are able to serve their communities in the following areas:
• Elimination of dangerous structures
• Leading deconstruction efforts of roads & other infrastructure, so it may be rebuilt
• Clearing away dangerous materials so people can return to their homes & businesses.

Firms were able keep extremely busy (and profitable) by having the organization and logistics in plan to handle large projects with very little notice. Being pre-certified to handle recovery efforts as second responders is a way for demolition services to move into new market niches. And of course, hard-hit communities benefit the clearing work that demolition companies do to allow rebuilding after a disaster such as the Coal Creek Canyon floods.

[photo by: U.S. Geological Survey on Flickr via CC License]

This entry was posted in Industrial Demolition and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.