In early November 2021, more than three weeks before hurricane season was to end November 30, forecasters predicted the 3rd busiest season in history would quietly depart.
For an experienced hurricane remediation firm like Rytech Restoration, however, the whimpering end followed a season of profound challenges.
In the latter part of the 2021 season cooler water and proliferating wind shear (high-altitude cross winds that keep storms from forming) created an environment that dramatically impeded the formation of hurricanes.
This quiet departure arrived only after 21 storms consumed the list of names designated for the entire year--from Ana to Wanda. The proliferating US landfalls, with 7 storms striking the mainland, proved well above the average of just 3 visitations in a typical season. In fact, Florida alone was hit three times, but.... thankfully, not Southeast Florida where property values, coastal development and population are heavily concentrated.
Only one of the U.S. landfalls involved a major hurricane, (meaning one of at least Category 3 strength). Hurricane Ida slammed the Louisiana coast near New Orleans August 29 as a strong Category 4 with 150 mph winds. It later killed more than 100 people, even drowning residents of Manhattan Island in basement apartments.
For Rytech Restoration, Ida’s challenges were profound and unique. In addition to the usual debris-strewn streets and occasional flash floods, more than one million homes and businesses were without power–a circumstance complicated by widespread cellphone failure.
Rainfall up to 3 inches per hour impeded Rytech’s Louisiana franchises. Several flash flood emergencies unfolded and continued as the storms’ “wetness” surprised those in other Rytech states. Due to a unique convergence of weather patterns, Rytech states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York were imperiled days after the system hit the Gulf Coast — some 1,000 miles away.
Rytech Restoration simultaneously faced west coast fires and this was all on the heels of a Texas Freeze event that required assistance from 10 non-Texas Rytech Franchises: Mobile, Atlanta, Central Florida, Tallahassee, South Carolina, Mississippi, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Orange County and Riverside California.
In the Dry Log’s Ida report titled “The Aftermath and the Challenge” was the following summary of Rytech’s national response effort:
“Testament to the value of a national reach is the role Rytech’s home office plays in every catastrophe, no matter how small or localized. Initial corporate communications focus on potential impact and the need for out-of-town help and early alerts to volunteers who must plan, pack and travel. Post storm communications reach fever pitch regarding claim volume, territory assignments for out-of-state responders, overall capacities, and liaisons with insurers, TPA’s and more. It’s all part of Team Rytech.”
And, for the record, Rytech Restoration is not only still working on remediating Ida’s destruction but is reviewing storm response efforts in preparation for a busy 2022 season.