BCSO: know who you’re hiring for flood repairs

GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) – Piles and piles. Each one represents bits and pieces of people’s lives that were ruined from this week’s floods.

“I lost some things I didn’t want to lose, but I had to prioritize and put the things the only place I had to put things: on counters and on top of chairs. I did, and the rest of it I just had to watch go,” Leslie Linton, a Gulf Shores resident, said.

This is the second day and the second large pile of rubbish Linton had to watch go. And he didn’t have much time to save what he did.

“Once the ditch was overflowed, it wasn’t…about 20-30 minutes it was already in the house. And then shortly after that we had a foot and a half, yeah, about 18 inches of water inside the house,” Linton said.

Plus, he had his two kids to worry about.

“I had to get the power turned off, not so much for myself, but for the kids. They haven’t been through this. I have. They weren’t with me in the last flood,” Linton said.

Now he, like many Baldwin County residents, will have to strip bare their homes and re-build. But Sheriff Huey Hoss Mack said before you hire a contractor, do your homework first.

“Make sure you check and ask to see that individual’s business license, that they are licensed to do business and also any specific license that they may need,” Mack said.

Mack said they haven’t received any calls on this crime yet, but he said it’s not uncommon for homeowners to get ripped off by unscrupulous people.

“We do expect to see some of this activity, but we feel if we’re out in front of it, and people will report this when it occurs, perhaps we can stop some of it,” Mack said.

Linton said he’s well aware of that scam and said he won’t make that mistake.

“I know there are some disreputable people that will be going around trying to, to rip people off. That’s not going to be me. I’m working with somebody I know,” Linton said.

Which, of course, is always ideal.

Mack said the first offense for this kind of crime is a Class A misdemeanor, but multiple offenses will result in a felony charge. He said with the good weather this weekend, he expects that’s when people may start to try this scam.

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