Red Hook Businesses Suffer After Sandy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Businesses in Red Hook, Brooklyn, may become an economic casualty of Sandy, as outages stretch into a third week. The blackout "is destroying us," one business owner said, and jobs are in jeopardy. Andrew Siff reports. (Published Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012)

    Along with the thousands of New Yorkers whose homes were damaged by Sandy, many businesses on the city's coastlines are also suffering.

    Red Hook Winery lost more than 200 barrels of wine, made from New York grapes.

    "These barrels were lifted by the ocean, they were mixed with salt water, they're not airtight," said Michael Snyder, who moved his winery to the growing industrial corridor last year.

    The night of the storm, Snyder said the scent of spilled wine wafted up as juice and grapes could be seen flowing past sandbags.

    The winery is among dozens of small businesses in Red Hook still reeling from the storm.

    Across pier 41 at the Cornell Paper company, owner Brian Robbins is considering two drastic moves: laying off his 30 employees or shutting down for good.

    Robbins said he has lost an estimated $1.7 million worth of cardboard boxes, waterlogged by flooding.

    And assessing the damage has been difficult without power for 15 days. He and his staff have used mini-flashlights strapped to their heads to get a glimpse.

    "I really didn't think the power would be out this long," said Robbins. "It's destroying us. It's destroying our business"
     

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