The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday December 6th

Wet weather delays Habitat for Humanity's home builds

Brothers for David, a partnership of several UNC fraternities, work together with Habitat for Humanity to build a house in honor of David Shannon. The house will home a lower-income CH family whose parents work as custodians on UNC’s campus.
Buy Photos Brothers for David, a partnership of several UNC fraternities, work together with Habitat for Humanity to build a house in honor of David Shannon. The house will home a lower-income CH family whose parents work as custodians on UNC’s campus.

The abundance of rain and snow in Chapel Hill this year has set Habitat for Humanity’s new projects weeks behind schedule.

Tom Finn, construction project manager for Orange County’s Habitat for Humanity, said houses that are currently under construction are on schedule and have not been delayed by the weather.

But he said planned projects will have to be delayed for drier conditions.

“The houses have been delayed because the wet and cold have stopped us from putting in the foundations,” Finn said.

“We are about three weeks behind in starting these projects. We need about three or four days of clear and dry weather above 40 degrees in order to do this.”

Finn said some of the group’s contractors are more impacted by the weather than others and they are constantly adjusting their schedules to work around the weather.

“Some of our contractors are working on Saturdays, but they are limited if we get rain every other day,” he said.

“The sub-contractors have their other work held up as well, so they are trying to fit us in to their busy schedule. They are the ones that have been affected by the weather the most.”

Ed Loftis, owner of Edd Loftis Backhoe Service, which contracts with Habitat for Humanity, said the weather has not been this bad in a long time.

“I haven’t seen it this bad since ’96,” Loftis said.

“That was the last time since we had about 20 inches of snow in this area. It was the year we had Hurricane Fran.”

Loftis said sometimes the winter is busier for him than the summer, but he said work is hard to come by almost anywhere this year due to the storms.

“We can’t work there, we can’t work pretty much anywhere,” he said.

“We have been averaging two to three days a week, but we average probably six days a week normally.”

Finn said all of the Habitat builds have been delayed, but nothing has been canceled so far.

The delays have also caused problems for Habitat volunteers.

Fraternities on UNC’s campus are assigned specific dates to help build, and Ward Wood, Delta Kappa Epsilon’s president, said four build dates he would have participated in this semester were canceled.

Wood said each fraternity is assigned an hour shift, and he said the snowstorm a month ago canceled his fraternity’s build.

“I’m guessing four were affected, maybe more due to the weather,” he said.

“We had ours that weekend, so since we couldn’t do it, we are doing it later in the spring.”

He said the fraternity is making up the canceled build on April 11 and 12. It will be the last one of the semester.

Finn said many types of weather can affect construction.

“Snow is not much different than the rain — if the ground is wet we can’t do much.”

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