Storm victims are on the lookout for sketchy contractors


by David Ham

Posted on August 31, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 31 at 6:01 PM

DARE COUNTY -- There's no shortage of contractors looking to clear out debris or make repairs in Dare County.

Kill Devil Hills police have seen an influx of out-of-town contractors even before Hurricane Irene made landfall.

"Big vans and UPS-sized trucks with the people's logos on the side are showing up, sometimes two or three from the same company that were here even before the storm, that were just ready to roll as soon as Irene passes. They were here early," said Sgt. John Towler.

Attorney General Roy Cooper's office said that it already received some complaints against some contractors post-Irene for home repairs, although not for tree removal services.

Homeowners are still encouraged to file a complaint if they feel like a contractor is trying to price gouge them or rip them off.

"We encourage people to report fraudulent contractors both to local law enforcement and to our Consumer Protection Division (1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within NC or file a complaint online at We're also taking complaints about price gouging," said Noelle Talley, spokesperson for Attorney General Cooper.

On Bay Drive where sound side flooding ravaged many home, police officers are working to keep out spectators, people collecting scrap metal, and also soliciting contractors.

Locals are also keeping their own lookout.

Bill Meyer says that most people who have lived in the area know how to spot an out-of-town contractor looking to prey on storm victims.

"You just tell them keep going keep going, because you know we help each other back here," said Meyer.

While homeowners are encouraged be careful not to hire a fraudulent contractor, Dare County says it does not endorse any one contractor.