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Texas Governor Greg Abbott is working to increase the number of plumbers who can help repair winter storm damage by giving provisional permits to out-of-state plumbers and waiving some fees and examination requirements for plumbers with expired licenses, local outlet CW39 reported.
Plumbers have been in high demand as families work to repair the damage to their homes after an unprecedented winter storm caused pipes and valves as well as tanks to freeze and burst.
In a press release, Abbott said that 320 plumbers already renewed their licenses as of Friday. The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners is also coordinating with out-of-state plumbing companies to get plumbers into Texas.
Randy Calazans, an employee with One Call Plumbing, told The New York Times that he’s been running around from one house to the next sizing up the damage. He said the damage to some homes was so bad they may need to be completely re-piped.
However, he said it’s difficult to get the necessary tools and products to even make simple fixes. “I’m literally just burning through supplies,” Calazans said.
Greg Sizemore, a vice president of the Associated Builders and Contractors, told Bloomberg that it could take months for contractors to repair the damage, the full extent of which is not yet known since ice and snow continue to thaw as temperatures in the state start to rise again.
Bloomberg reported that insurance companies are also receiving a larger number of calls and it’s likely adjusters will be backlogged.
Camille Garcia, a spokeswoman at the Insurance Council of Texas, told the outlet that insurers are sending in adjusters from other states to help assess the damage.
As families work to get their homes repaired, Calazans told the Times it’s important to seek out someone who is qualified and was appalled at some of the work he’s seen in the past.
“You don’t just want anybody doing plumbing,” he said.
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