Two weeks after the storm, Davis & Warshow is still sorting through the damaged equipment and supplies that have to be thrown out due to water damage. At the height of the storm, water from Newtown Creek rushed into the facility and front office, rising to roughly four feet.
CEO David Finkel said that he refuses to sell any item that was damaged in the storm, even if only the box it was packaged in was touched by the rising waters.
As of Monday, November 12, the facility still did not have electricity. Everyone from accountants to sales people sat site by side in a makeshift office in a space above the warehouse that was dry.
“We're fortunate,” Finkel said. “We have dedicated staff, we have great people and everyone's okay.”
Finkel said that the cost of the damage was easily into the millions.
Hurricane Sandy hit Davis & Warshow's main facility less than a month after the company had been purchased by Ferguson Enterprises Inc., an international company that is the largest wholesale pluming distributor in the U.S.
Finkel said the new owners have some experience in dealing with a situation like this.
“They've been through Katrina,” he said. “They know how to handle disaster recovery issues.”
Finkel said that officials at Ferguson have used their experience to help Davis & Warshow follow the specific guidelines so the company will be able to file a successful insurance claim.
With homes and businesses having been destroyed throughout Queens, Finkel said Davis & Warshow has been hearing from worried residents.
“Right now, the big thing is boilers and water heaters,” said Finkel, who said he has heard from numerous home owners scrambling to replace them as the cold weather approaches. “Any wholesaler who has them, they're flying out the door because people need them.”