Hurricane Florence made landfall in mid-September 2018 as a
weakened Category 1 hurricane, but still had enough wind speed to uproot trees
and cause widespread power outages throughout the Carolinas. This storm was
different than Hurricane Irma which ravaged the Florida Keys in September 2017
because of the widespread flooding. Florence stalled over the Carolinas and
dumped between 30 to 40 inches of rain and was only moving at 2 to 3 miles per
hour. Most major roads and highways in the area experienced some flooding, with
large stretches of I-40, I-95, and US Route 70 remaining impassable for days
after the storm had passed. The city of Wilmington was cut off entirely from
the rest of the mainland by floodwaters. The storm also spawned tornadoes in
several places along its path.
Once again, FEMA contracted with the NRIVA to inspect
hundreds of towable RV’s to provide displaced victims a place to stay while
they rebuilt their homes and communities. Another difference from Irma, this
storm contract included repairs on those towable units and Jason was one of 6
mobile RV repair techs called upon to help. Along with 9 other inspectors, Lisa
inspected RV’s at a staging yard based in Kinston, NC. There were also 15
inspectors placed in various counties in North Carolina who performed Field
inspections on towable RV’s that bypassed the staging yard which FEMA already
delivered to victim’s properties. Once the staging yard ceased operations, the
RV mobile techs were dispatched to perform repairs out in the field.
One thing that remained consistent was the fact that over
40% of the BRAND NEW RV’S had Major and Life Safety issues. Some examples of
repairs were major water leaks, holes in roofing sealant, improperly sealed
rubber grommets around propane lines and major electrical issues as well as
propane leaks which can be life threatening.
If FEMA knows that BRAND NEW RV’S need inspected before
occupancy, shouldn’t everyone who buys an RV have them inspected?