D. C. Taylor Co. Weathers August 10 Derecho
On August 10, 2020, a storm unlike any other hit the Cedar Rapids, IA, headquarters of commercial/industrial roofing contractor D. C. Taylor Co. The weather phenomenon known as a derecho was reported by the Washington Post, to be the most costly thunderstorm disaster in U.S. history with estimated damages exceeding $7.5 billion.
The storm delivered widespread, sustained periods of wind and rain across eastern Iowa and northwest Illinois; the Cedar Rapids, IA, area was hit particularly hard with wind speeds estimated at 140 mph for 30-60 minutes. The city reports that 70 percent of its tree canopy is now gone. Very few homes and businesses were without damage from wind gusts equivalent to an EF3 tornado.
Eighty (80) ft. of the west wall of D. C. Taylor Co.’s new warehouse was torn off. The office was in the dark. Power was out all over the city. Cell service was unreliable. Fallen tree limbs blocked streets and sliced through homes. The roofing contractor paused operations for the day so employees could assess their personal damage but the next day was back to business.
Cedar Rapids team members who were able, congregated outside the office with large easel pads to discuss the needs of customers who’d been lucky enough to get a call through. “Ninety-seven (97) percent of the roofs – residential and commercial – were affected,” says James (J. J.) Longerbeam, Vice President Service, D. C. Taylor Co., Cedar Rapids, IA.
Without power, the team used daylight and pen and paper to assign available crew members, estimators, and account managers to get out and evaluate damage, make repairs, and temporary-up roofs for businesses with a catastrophic loss. “We started repairing different buildings around town. It was one job right after another,” explains Chad Rouse, Project Supervisor, D. C. Taylor Co., Cedar Rapids, IA.
The volume of work in the weeks to come was overwhelming. Crews from the company’s Chicago and Phoenix offices were brought in. “There are a lot of people with a lot of years working here. We relied on all that experience to get us through,” explains Mike Poorman, Project Manager, D. C. Taylor Co., Cedar Rapids, IA.
The company repaired its own warehouse. Lunches were supplied for crews, as office employees sourced meals from the few restaurants that remained operational. The company came together to service the needs of customers through teamwork and with extraordinary dedication and commitment.
D. C. Taylor Co. is commemorating their derecho experience with a 7-minute video; watch it here.
About D. C. Taylor Co.
D. C. Taylor Co. is a Cedar Rapids, IA-based roofing contractor with 70 years of experience installing, repairing, and maintaining roofs at commercial, institutional, and industrial facilities. With service centers in five states and 30 service and roofing crews, D. C. Taylor Co. is poised to respond to customer needs quickly and efficiently. For more information on D. C. Taylor Co., visit www.dctaylorco.com.