Irene brings a jackpot
Irene brings a jackpot
Hurricane Irene has created opportunities for Begal Enterprises, a disaster cleanup company.
Business: Begal Enterprises, Inc. Disaster Restoration Specialists
Location: Rockville, Md.

Irene left Begal Enterprises with a revenue bump equal to hundreds of thousands of dollars, said William Begal, president and founder of the Rockville, Md., disaster cleanup company.

The small firm, which typically has 20 employees, clears away debris from fires and floods across the country. Because of Irene, Begal Enterprises has expanded to 40 and 50 employees, said Begal.

"The weather has created opportunities," said Begal. And that isn't the first time. When Washington D.C. flooded in 2006, Begal had 80 people working for him in 24 hours. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Begal went to New Orleans and within a week had 100 people working for him.

The crews pick up shattered glass, dehumidify the air, pump excess water out of flooded basements and remove wet carpeting and padding.

Begal Enterprises has large corporate clients, but, so far, most of its calls are coming from individual homeowners. "It is basements that have turned into swimming pools," said Begal. "When the power went off, the sump pumps no longer worked."

Last updated September 01 2011: 9:18 AM ET
Join the Conversation
Firing horror stories

Be polite and professional when giving an employee the boot. And if the person getting fired starts to lose it, duck.

Most Popular

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.