Irma Moves through Florida and Mid-Atlantic Regions, Leaving Destruction, Uncertainty

Norah Dick, Window & Door
September 12, 2017
Hurricane Irma hit the southeastern United States on Sunday, Sept. 10, bringing severe damage to the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane with 130 miles per hour winds, before making landfall twice along the Florida coast, according to reports from the National Weather Service. The impact comes after Hurricane Irma brought devastation to the Caribbean, including the islands of Barbuda and St. Martin.
Irma arrived in Florida less than two weeks after Tropical Storm Harvey made its final landfall on Aug. 30 on the Gulf Coast, and marks the first time in 166 years of recorded weather history that two Category 4 storms have made landfall in the United States in the same year, the NWS reports.
On Monday, Sept. 11, Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm, but continued to move northwest into Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. Though some warnings have been discontinued, storm surge warnings from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are in place for portions of the coastlines of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. NOAA warns that intense rainfall of two inches or more per hour may lead to flash flooding for the eastern panhandle of Florida, as well as southern Georgia. 
Irma has claimed 10 lives in the United States so far, according to a report from ABC news. Almost six million are without power in Florida, and thousands more in Georgia.

C.R. Laurence’s facility in Miami closed last Friday as a precaution and remained closed through today. “Facilities and personnel are safe, and CRL Miami is open for business tomorrow [Tuesday],” says Andrew Haring, vice president of marketing, C.R. Laurence Co.

Window and Door Design Center of Florida reports that its five locations fared well in the storm. The company, which received a 2017 Dealer of the Year award for Showroom Design, was unable to send staff to GlassBuild America due to the weather.

PGT Innovations Inc., which has production facilities in Miami, Venice and Orlando, reported that its facilities were not damaged and its inventories were not harmed. The CGI facility in Miami and WinDoor facility in Orlando have power and resumed limited production Tuesday. The company expects to resume full production at its CGI and WinDoor facilities Wednesday, September 13, and expects its PGT facility in Venice to be capable of producing at full capacity on Thursday.  
“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Hurricane Irma’s path, including our employees, customers and the communities we call home as they begin the process of recovering from this storm,” says Jeff Jackson, president of PGT Innovations. “Our main priority is the well-being of our employees, customers and neighbors. We have mobilized teams across Florida to respond to the needs of our team members and dealer partners." Read more about the actions PGT is taking to respond to those who were impacted here.

As many residential window and door manufacturers and dealers in the affected areas of Florida remain closed, it is still too early to determine the extent of the damage, and how the stringency of Miami-Dade codes aided the performance of local glazing. However, PGTI's Jackson reports that, “Due to Florida’s robust building codes, which the company assisted in developing, early reports are showing that Florida was able to better weather this storm because of those efforts. As we look forward, our focus is the continued well-being of our people and customers, and returning to production to take care of those customers’ needs.”
To provide individual or company contributions to the Red Cross, click here or text “Irma” to 990999 to donate $10.