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Six Months After Sandy: Coney Island Body Shop Bounces Back After Storm

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TWC News: Six Months After Sandy: Coney Island Body Shop Bounces Back After Storm
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Nearly six months to the day that Hurricane Sandy came ashore with its destructive and deadly wind and water, thousands of New Yorkers still feel the effects of the storm. All this week, NY1 is checking in with victims of the storm, monitoring agency responses in the continuing aftermath and revisiting communities devastated by Sandy's impact. NY1's Roger Clark followed up with a Coney Island body shop that was submerged by the storm.

Monday morning it was business as usual at the Carousel Collision Shop on Neptune Avenue.

But six months ago, owner Frank Kozlowsky briefly wondered if he and his staff would ever work on another car again after the shop was inundated with water from Hurricane Sandy.

"It was pretty horrifying to open up the front door and see water actually rush out with our candy machine that was in the office. It was pretty crazy," Kozlowsky said. "We almost wanted to turn around lock, the gates and leave but that was just not an option."

But it wasn't easy to get back to work. Carousel was closed for six weeks after losing around $100,000 in machinery, as well as 27 vehicles that were on the property.

Kozlowsky had to file a complaint with Consolidated Edison in November because they didn't have enough voltage to reopen the shop. After NY1 reported on the issue, Con Ed responded and Carousel was back in business.

It was good news for the shop's five employees who said it was a tough month and a half when they were out of work.

"It was like, just hang around. Wait, stick it out," painter Christopher Britto said. "Just holding the savings just to get by."

Kozlowsky said he was able to pay his employees part of their salary during that time while getting the shop back in running order. Other than a few minor equipment issues, it is back to full steam ahead.

"You can't just close up and pack it in. You have to worry about their families as well as your own," he said. "So you've just got to build back up, put the pieces back together I should say, and move on."

Kozlowsky said he knows there could be future storms like Sandy, but there's only so much they can do to prepare for it.

"Listen, if you get 10 feet of water, there's nothing you are going to do to prepare for that," he said. "Hopefully it will never happen again here, but chances are it could."

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