This is what we looked like on October 28, 2012. We have been working steadfastly to rebuild ever since.
As many of you know, Hurricane Sandy devastated the community of Red Hook, Brooklyn. She sent 15-foot waves crashing onto our shores and water flowing through the streets. By our restaurant, the flood covered the hood of our Landrover. In the middle of the storm we went out to rescue chickens that were stranded in their coop in the lot nextdoor. To do that, we were wading through chest-deep water. (Here's a good NYTimes story about it.)
Inside, we suffered a complete catastrophe. Our basement flooded. Our restaurant flooded. We lost everything. And two weeks after the storm, we are just starting to get power, heat and hot water returned. This, on top of the fact that a fire ravaged our restaurant earlier this spring. It's been a hard, hard year.
Of course, like most businesses down here, we have to completely rebuild. That means gutting our space and starting from scratch. We need new electrical. New appliances. New refrigerators. New everything. Even our employees are displaced and out of work.
The cost of this endeavor will top $50,000 -- and as most of us have found, floods aren't covered by our insurance. And there is no FEMA money for small businesses other than loans, and it's hard to take on more debt and face those payments when you don't know when you'll be able to reopen.
But we believe in Red Hook. We love Red Hook. As our friend Barry, another local business owner said, it's a "small village on the cusp of the world." And we pull together. We help each other out. We've all been working around the clock to pull our lives, businesses and community back together. We've even spent time creating a local small-business fund to assist other owners get back on their feet (restoreredhook.org).
Now we could use your help.