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August 7th, 1998 - Customers Help Wiley Bros. Weather the Storm


When David Moore, Manager of Wiley Bros. Inc. on Route 40 in Schaghticoke, arrived at the lumber and hardware store at 4:45 a.m. the morning after the tornado struck, some 100 to 150 friends, relatives and customers already were there working.

"I honestly don't know how they knew to come to us; I've been trying for a month to figure that out," Moore said. The 5,000-square foot main lumber store lost half its roof, and of the six other lumber and building material storage structures on the site, one was completely demolished and three others lost their roofs. By 6:30 p.m., there were new roofs on every building, and 35 volunteers were combing the fields and brush around the store collecting lumber and other merchandise that the winds had scattered. Moore estimated they put on about 22,000 square feet of roofing that day, in the midst of which the store received customers starting at 6 a.m. and provided deliveries the same afternoon.

"Other than having to look in different spots than usual for merchandise, we've been open for business right along," he said, noting that the telephones worked but electric service wasn't restored for four days. Wiley Bros. still is in the process of replacing the lost building, and Moore said people have been flexible about contractors juggling their schedules.

"People are not looking to get back to perfection," he said. "They're looking to get their roofs closed up and the structure back so they have a secure facility that's weather-tight." Moore added that it will be another month or more before the 52-year-old company can estimate its loss.

- Published: The Business Review, Friday, August 7, 1998