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Contractor shortage apparent in Paradise rebuilding

Anderson said they are realizing their sub-contractors can't keep up with the workload while trying to build a new home every three weeks.

Posted: Nov 22, 2019 7:18 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - Camp Fire survivors who are rebuilding are having to cope with a shortage of workers to get the job done.

Local contractors, like The Anderson Brothers, are busy rebuilding Paradise and are putting in even more work.

"Pre-fire we were building about eight homes a year," said Anderson Brothers President Dave Anderson. "Now we're trying to ramp up do twice that... do 15, 16."

Anderson said they are realizing their sub-contractors can't keep up with the workload while trying to build a new home every three weeks.

He says it has been a challenge to find workers, with the ones he does have working six days a week.

"It's going to be, I think, a shortage of people for a while but once we get to the point where we have enough workers I still don't think we are ever going to be building more than 500 houses a year," said Anderson. "I think that's the most we can do."

The non-profit called V-Roc, Volunteers Rebuilding Our Community, is bringing in volunteer workers from across the nation.

"They can provide their own housing, they can provide people from all over the United States to come volunteer and help so that's one good thing that's in the process of happening," said Anderson.

"You don't have a lot of construction companies around here that can take on so many houses at once and then weather is coming up where it's going to be raining, that's going to put a huge damper," said fire survivor Angela Alford.

Alford knew the worker shortage would become a reality so she decided to move forward with a modular home instead.

"That is part of the process and thinking about doing a manufactured rather than doing a stick, built from the ground up," she said.

She says she is not able to move back to the Ridge until May but she is hopeful for the future.

"I think at this time we have to be patient it's not always the answer people want to hear but I know they're trying to do the best they can to help us rebuild," said Alford. "It's a slow process, it's not an overnight fix."

The Town of Paradise announced this week it has issued more than 500 rebuilding permits.

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Lightning-caused fires will be a concern over the next few days as thunderstorms enter the forecast. We stay warm to begin next week but cool into the 70s by Wednesday.
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