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Shellfish Hatchery Chooses Steel Building After Fire

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Quonset hut shellfish hatchery on wooden docks above water, small boat tied to end of the dock

James Morris woke up and thought it would be like any other Mother’s Day. Until, he received an urgent phone call from his father, Jimmy Morris, alerting him that their family business was engulfed in flames.

James rushed to the scene and was met with flames. Six fire trucks had responded to put out the blaze.

James and Jimmy Morris own and operate Morris Family Shellfish Farms, a shellfish hatchery in Sea Level, North Carolina. For six generations, the Morris Family has been in the commercial fishing industry. And for the past three decades, they began farming and producing clams and oysters on the central banks of North Carolina.

Their goal is to provide their customers with high-quality grown clams and oysters, grown sustainably, straight from their dock.

Building destroyed by fire

Unfortunately, before the fire, their business also weathered several hurricanes. The most devastating was hurricane Isabel in 2003, which destroyed their 80-year-old building.

After Isabel, they were hit yet again by hurricane Florence and sustained some damage. They repaired the damage and three years later sustained the fire which took their building yet again.

This time, they knew they needed a building that was more resilient.

“We were searching for a more resilient construction option for us. We knew we wanted to have a building that could withstand high winds from hurricanes,” James said.

And, being a small business, they needed to be back in business fast.

James added, “We also wanted a building that could be constructed quickly to get back in business. We use the building for not only the hatchery but also for workspace and storage. It’s the center of operation of the business.”

They decided to go with a SteelMaster. They went with an S-model as they were drawn to the height; therefore, they could create two levels to maximize the space.

SteelMaster connected the Morris’s with a local contractor who assembled the building in only four days!

Overall, James is very happy with the product.

“It was a good experience. Good quality materials. We’re pleased with the building,” James concluded.

To learn more, check out the Disaster Resistant page on our website.