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Buildings still bear scars from Gonzalo

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Two months after the Island bore the brunt of Hurricane Gonzalo, a total of five new quarries have been approved by Planning to supply roofing slates.

However, the damage inflicted remains in evidence, as tarpaulins are visible on houses around the Island.

“As far as we are able to ascertain, all quarries are operating at various levels, depending upon equipment on site,” a Planning spokeswoman said. “The nature of the stone encountered varies widely across the sites and this affects volume output.”

With slate in short supply after the two hurricanes that struck in October, Government made it a high priority to get more quarries up and running.

Rumours that slate was being imported from overseas turned out to be unfounded, according to Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy.

Although many roofs are still awaiting repairs, the wait is not necessarily attributable to shortages, cautioned Greymane Contracting head Alex DeCouto.

“It took us a good month to get slate for the projects that we had started, but we got them and completed works.

“We're still receiving calls from people who had damage from the storms, as recently as Wednesday, but a lot of these houses haven't been left open to the elements by roof damage — it's porches, things like that. We're just getting to those.”

Mr DeCouto said that while many houses remain with improvised covers on their roofs, the delays were likely “more about finding the resources, the companies that have windows of time to commit to these projects”.

He added: “It's not necessarily because everybody's engaged, but these jobs are little works that stretch companies quite thin. And some clients are just waiting for a particular contractor that they want to use. There are a few factors at work.”

A number of buildings in the Somerset area are still without roofs as a result of Hurricane Gonzalo that hit the Island in October Photo David Skinner
Damaged: A number of buildings in the Somerset area are still without roofs as a result of Hurricane Gonzalo that hit the Island in October
A number of buildings in the Somerset area are still without roofs as a result of Hurricane Gonzalo that hit the Island in October Photo David Skinner

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Published December 19, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 19, 2014 at 1:41 am)

Buildings still bear scars from Gonzalo

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