"Contractors who clean up disasters are broken into two different groups," explains Jim Haeussler, president of Peters Building in Saline. "You have disaster recovery types--boarding up windows, putting on tarps--basically protecting the assets. They get paid unbelievable fees. But it's specialized work. They need a lot of equipment. I don't even pretend to know the costs associated with it.
"Then you have the rebuilding."
"When the storm first happened, Belfor had this whole area here," says Tony Push, another partner in Dexter Builders, pointing to the corner of Wilson and Ryan in Huron Farms. "They had a trailer. They had tents."
Steve Lucchesi, an Ann Arbor-based contractor, says: "I was told people were coming up [from] as far as the South. They mobilize and they're here within minutes. People are overwhelmed because their houses have been destroyed. They're told, 'Don't worry, we'll charge your insurance company.'" In one case he knows of, a resident was charged $8,000 to wrap his house. "It should have cost $3,000," Lucchesi says.