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Construction industry cashing in on drought

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Jan 21 2014 12:44:31 PM CST
CHICO, Calif. -

California's severe drought is bad news for farmers and ranchers but some industries, like construction, are actually benefiting from the dry weather conditions.

The clang of hammers and the buzz of saws are the sounds of money being made in a neighborhood off Eaton Road in north Chico.

And with not a drop of rain falling these days, construction crews are able to get in all the work they can.

"Oh, it's just absolutely fantastic," says framer Richard Greene. "We haven't had to deal with any kind of mud, rain or anything else. I mean, we need the rain but look, we're working."

With more than 40 years working construction, Greene knows this year's drought is making his life much easier than the average January.

"This time of the year it's waking up every day knowing you're going to get drenched or end up taking time off," he says.

But it's more than just the dry weather that's helping, the warm conditions are playing a role too.

"A lot of our guys are getting all the way down to tank tops and short sleeves and everything, wearing shorts all the time," Green says. "It's January 20th. Like I'm telling everybody, this is a fantastic April day."

Whether it's framing, painting, or concrete, there are few delays these days.

The rise of new building construction paired with the ideal weather conditions is creating the perfect storm for the construction industry.

But if the skies were to open up, Greene says it would hardly slow him down.

"Well I got rain gear, I can work through just about everything," he says. "So, I mean, the end of my day would be a whole lot less smiles, let's put it that way."

But with hardly a cloud in the forecast Greene will be smiling at the end of his workdays for the foreseeable future.

He says the company he works for, CFS Construction Framing Specialists, is flooded with orders.

So it looks like they'll be busy through the "rainy" season and beyond.