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North Kingstown business recovers from massive storm damage

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — A North Kingstown business is back up and running after severe weather tore off its roof last month.

Custom Design sustained hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage when strong storms hit the area in mid-July.

Its owner, Raul Dias, said was a terrifying experience for employees of the bustling factory.

“There were people right there screaming,” said Dias. “The whole rubber membrane of the roof blew off.”

Damage to an office at Custom Design in North Kingstown
Damage to an office at Custom Design in North Kingstown

The National Weather Service said it appeared to be straight-line winds that struck Custom Design, which makes displays for dozens of clients including Alex + Ani and Dolce and Gabana.

“We’ve been in business 40 years and all of a sudden we were devastated,” Dias added.

The company managed to reopen within two days thanks to quick work by construction crews, and a month later the factory is now fully back on its feet. Dias said the most important thing to him was that his roughly 70 full- and part-time employees were never out of work.

Fortunately, insurance was able to cover much of the cost of the massive repairs.

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