Sandy a bonanza for businesses involved in cleanup

Superstorm Sandy has left behind massive destruction and urgent recovery efforts. The hurricane has meant disaster for many businesses, while crowding calendars for those involved in the cleanup.

Businesses in the storm’s path clearly had it the worst. Francine Keller was cleaning up today in her clothing shop called Making Waves in Ocean City, N.J., Thursday. She says waves, real ones, went right through her store.

“[It’s] really bad,” she said. “Really bad. Most of the inventory is damaged, not salvageable.”

Indicating a small pile of rescued merchandise, she said, “What you see here is all that we were able to save so far.”

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In the best-case scenario, she anticipates reopening in the spring.

For other businesspeople, the aftermath of the storm will make for stressful weeks and months, but help their bottom line in the end.

Mario Vaes of Mario’s Tree Service paced in front of an Elkins Park house where a tree limb was lodged on the roof. He had an ear glued to his cell phone all morning on Tuesday.

“[Customers are] calling and they want to be done this morning. I think there’s going to be a lot of people in trouble now and I’m doing the best I can,” he said, before walking away to answer his phone.

Peter Myszka, a public insurance adjuster, already has signs up along the Jersey Shore. The number rings in his car, where he was sitting in traffic on the Blackhorse Pike, approaching Atlantic City.

“I hope my insurance license will get me past the checkpoint here. Actually as we speak I am approaching the police here,” said Myszka, who expects to be busy inspecting homes and negotiating with insurance companies for six to nine months.

“This is just unbelievable,” he said of the damage from the storm. “I’ve never dealt with anything of that magnitude.”

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