Beware of rip offs after Hurricane Nate


In the wake of hurricane like Nate, unlicensed contractors and scammers often come into the affected areas promising immediate clean-up and debris removal.

Some even demand payment up-front for work they never do. Others simply lack the skills, licenses, and insurance to legally do the work.

With Nate, there was little damage and there is no federal disaster declaration, so FEMA dollars will not help the average homeowner.

After Nate we saw dozens of piers damaged along Mobile Bay. We also saw trees toppled and private property take a hit in both Mobile and Baldwin County.
"We saw a lot of damage on piers on the Eastern Shore typically those are not covered by insurance policies or FEMA flood insurance. So you won’t see any reimbursement on those. The best you can hope for is a tax write off," said Baldwin County Commissioner Chris Elliott who is also a licensed contractor with Service Master.

Homeowners in the Montrose area have seen damage mainly to their piers along the bay.

Some in low lying areas experienced flooding too.

"Well the storm surge was enough to pretty much take it out we haven't been able to get out the end to access how much damage was actually done," said homeowner Lizzy Nobles.

So what to look out for now that some of you will need to hire a contractors or a cleanup crew?

"Always check for proper documentation make sure that these folks have local business licenses state business licenses or contractor licenses and frankly they should be members of your chambers of commerce or the Better Business Bureau prior to moving forward with engagement," said Elliott.

Again, check the license for the contractor you're considering. Never sign any document or pay any contractor before verifying their license. Also ask contractors for references.