Businesses with offices or work in the Lowcountry have already started the process of getting their staff to safety as Hurricane Matthew approaches the East Coast.
Randy Morrison, director of human resources with McCrory Construction – which is based in Columbia but has offices in Greenville, said the company has several projects in the Charleston and Hilton Head Island area.
“All of our staff were evacuated,” Morrison said. “They started yesterday and, in most cases, the building inspectors gave us information and said it would be best to leave.”
He said the company is working on two assisted living facilities in the Charleston/Summerville area and a retail location in Hilton Head. Between the different locations, McCrory Construction had between 12-15 employees on-site. Morrison said those staff are traveling back home – some as far away as Virginia – to beat the storm.
A bigger challenge is working to get project subcontractors informed and moved to safety. Morrison said they have between 15-20 subcontractors on any of the jobs which means over 100 people on job sites.
“We sent out emails and talked to their ownership and project directors,” Morrison said. “We really are a team and we have to watch out for each other.”
The Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP law offices in Charleston and Columbia are operating as normal Wednesday, according to firm spokesman Bruce Buchanan. He said the Charleston office has 74 staff and attorneys working and the Columbia office has seven.
“For now, it is business as usual and the office is open,” Buchanan said. “There encouraging people to work remotely if they feel that is what they need to do.
“We don’t anticipate any real problems with client services because they can work remotely.”
The firm has offices in Greenville and Charlotte and, he said, the company told its staff they can come to either of those offices to work, if they deem it necessary.
“The Columbia office is watching the situation as well and it is the same situation as in Charleston,” Buchanan said. “They just want people to be safe and do what is best.”
According to Greg Greenawalt, general manager of the Crowne Plaza in Greenville, an unnamed Lowcountry business with an office in Greenville purchased 60 hotel rooms at the hotel to move their Charleston operations to the Upstate.