Members Gain Different Perspectives on Hurricane Ian

(L): A Ft. Myers, FL home by Daniel Wayne Homes has a pile-based foundation standing amid Hurricane Ian wreckage; (R): Kena Yoke of Island Piling put in piles on this and other homes in the region.


Hurricane Ian was a large and destructive Category 4 Atlantic hurricane that ravaged parts of North America in late September and early October; southwest Florida was hit extremely hard making Ian the deadliest hurricane to strike the state since 1935. It had caused widespread damage across western Cuba prior to hitting the Florida peninsula; afterwards, it impacted South Carolina.

At the time of this writing, Hurricane Ian is blamed in at least 147 fatalities with 5 people in Cuba,136 in Florida, 5 in North Carolina, and 1 in Virginia, according to local officials. Ian caused catastrophic damage with losses estimated to be more than $50 billion. Damage was mostly from flooding, with the Florida cities of Fort Myers Beach and Naples heavily impacted. Sanibel Island and Pine Island, off the coast from these cities, faced massive storm surge in addition to high winds; severe flooding resulted, and damaged both the Sanibel Causeway and the bridge to Pine Island.

PDCA uses this space to recognize several members who have had a brush with various facets of this natural disaster:

  • Island Piling, Inc. is based in Naples, FL and had many driven pile projects in areas of the region that took a direct hit. (See one example of a Ft. Myers, FL home in the photo at the top of this post.) Kena Yoke who is VP of the company notes that pile-based structures fared well during the storm. She says, simply, "The building code works." However, she indicated that one of her cranes that was at nearby Bonita Beach in Lee County did take a hard punch from the storm but "she's gonna need some time in the ER, but we expect a full recovery.
    Storm surged above the boom, then receded and left beach chairs on it.
    The Island Piling, Inc. crane is expected to make a full recovery.
  • Service Steel Warehouse shipped 22 loads of sheet piling from its Houston stock to SW Florida where it was installed to repair the Sanibel Causeway. Specifically, it sent 130 pair of H2607 in 50-foot lengths over three days; the first load arrived in 24 hours of receiving the order. See some photos of the construction: 
  • Sanibel Causeway construction 
    more Sanibel Causeway construction
    another view of Sanibel Causeway construction
  • Thanks to Bill Thomas at Service Steel Warehouse for rushing the order, Sanibel Island reestablished ground-based connection to the mainland and nearby Ft. Myers, ten days sooner than FDOT had projected. Read a local news story.  
  • An observation called-in to PDCA by a longtime contractor member: "the three bridge spans that are part of the 3-mile, Sanibel Causeway are all supported by pile-based foundations, and all still stood after the storm."
  • RJ Gorman Marine Construction dispatched resources from its Florida Panhandle yard in Panama City, to Ft. Myers to assist in massive clean-up efforts on the Gulf Coast waterfront where boats had been dislocated by the strong hurricane winds. Here are a couple photos of the team in action.
  • Atlas Tube parent company sent the Zekelman Industries Grill of Steel to Ft. Myers, FL in the aftermath of the storm to serve upwards of 800 meals per day to disaster responders. See the LinkedIn post
  • Aggregate Technologies, Inc., meanwhile, was over on the western side of the Gulf of Mexico. It had dispatched HydroDemolition equipment for a repair on the foundation of the I-10, Mississippi River Bridge span at Baton Rouge, a vessel had damaged a fender. Cajun Industries, LLC partnered on this project by providing the barge and launch from its waterfront yard. Says Ethan Namink of ATI: "We were subcontracted to Hydro blast a section of salvageable concrete adjacent to the damaged area. On our site visit to the damaged fender, the water level made the concrete about shoulder high on us. However, this was a couple days before Ian slammed into the Florida Coast. By the time we did the job, Ian was crossing Florida and had pulled all the water from the Gulf and the mouth of the Mississippi which required us to adjust our plan to perform the Hydro blast. The elevation of the river dropped so significantly that we had to have towers overnighted to us to adapt to the changes because the damaged concrete that had been shoulder high on a person was now 27 feet our heads." 
    Site visit shows high river level right before Ian hit FL
    The Hydro operator prepares for action

    During job, after Ian hit FL, water level is 27-feet lower 
PDCA wishes healing and speedy recovery to those who have been horrifically impacted by this dangerous storm and thanks the many members who are performing various responses to this natural disaster.

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