The aftermath of the Thanksgiving Day storm is making for a busier-than-usual pre-Christmas season for some general contractors in Cape Breton.

Much of it is because those who suffered flood damage to their homes are anxious to get moving on repairs.

"We want it to be over," said Randy MacDonald, a homeowner in Sydney River. 

Starting over again

MacDonald's basement, which had just been renovated two years ago, took on nearly a metre of water during the storm.

"We had to tear it all out and start over again," he said.

He's in the final stages of a repair job, and although it's not MacDonald's first priority, he admits it will be nice to have the basement finished in time for the holidays.

MacDonald's basement is one of 15 flood-related jobs that Keating Construction of Point Edward has on the go at the moment.

"It is crazy out there. I run from daylight to dark," owner Allan Keating said on Wednesday.

Possible long waits

Primarily a general contractor, Keating is also certified to do restoration work, which involves removing contaminated material and sanitizing a site.

Once that's done, he said any contractor can do the rebuild, whereas waiting for the restoration specialists to return and finish the job could mean a long wait.

That has homeowners turning to general contractors such as Earl Weyman of Weyman Construction in Glace Bay.

'Getting overwhelmed'

"What's happening now is that the [companies] that are normally used by the insurance, they're getting overwhelmed," Weyman said

"They get the tear-outs done, and get them all sprayed up and ready to go, but they can't actually get back to do the work for a few months ... so that's the people that are calling me and other contractors to see if they can't get it done sooner."

While many people would like to have their homes restored to their pre-flood condition before Christmas, Weyman said in most cases that won't be possible.

"I keep telling them all I'm not Santa Claus, and neither is anybody else out there. You can only do what you can do."