Shortages of construction workers, supplies could delay storm recovery


BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – It’s been a busy 10 days for Brandon Ashley and the Baton Rouge Five-S Group.

“It has been nothing but chaotic between the companies that we’re operating and supporting to provide needs to citizens affected by the storms,” said Ashley.

Contractors are helping families clear debris and rebuild following Hurricane Ida. Their projects will cost a lot more and take longer to complete.

“We’ve had a large delay in lumber supplies, construction supplies such as concrete and steel,” said Ashley. “All the things to put together a house, commercial building or an industrial facility come at a slower pace and a much higher price.”

Before Ida, the construction industry faced a shortage of workers and supplies with the pandemic and previous storms adding to the challenges.

“A lot of contractors lost their businesses as a result of losing contracts because of the pandemic. Another issue we’re dealing with is the problems from Hurricane Laura, Delta and problems from Zeta. So, we’re still in a recovery mode,” said Ashley

That strain on the industry could delay projects three months or longer.

“When you start talking about reconstructing an entire single-family home, that project would normally take 60 to 90 days to complete. You’re moving into the 180 days plus category which is more than six months. That’s typical of a new full-size custom home construction versus a renovation, which is normally half that time,” said Ashley.

Ashley and other contractors are asking everyone for patience.

“Understand that it is not the guy working for you or the insurance adjuster that’s causing the delay. It is simply supply and demand economics, and everyone wants to help as fast as they can get the resources to give that help,” said Ashley.

If you would like to apply for a construction job, apply online at

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