The Two Edges Of Andrew's Sword

Unemployed workers flock to Florida for work, but the task is daunting

HURRICANE ANDREW MAY HAVE BEEN THE MOST costly natural disaster in U.S. history, but it has triggered a modern American gold rush. Carpenters and contractors from as far away as Alaska are heading south to Florida to mine a $20 billion bonanza in reconstruction and cleanup work. "I traded in my high heels for steel toes ((construction shoes)) and headed down here a few days after the storm," said Roberta Heiberg, an estimator for an Arlington, Virginia, contracting firm. She got a Florida contractor's license in one day, advertised with a sign in her Holiday Inn window and made her first...

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