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Editor’s note: I have been thinking a lot about industry folks in New Jersey and New York, and reached Brian Farias of Farias Surf & Sports via email last night.
I asked him if he would mind sharing an update on how things are going there, and he sent this report. Scarily, Long Beach Island in New Jersey, where Farias has its main store, is off limits again today as another storm approaches the area. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the area is spared more damage.
Brian Farias: “Back from another day on the island. We are making progress, but overall it is very overwhelming. So many friends are reaching out to lend a hand. This is very humbling - from old friends to industry leaders.
“The island is in rough shape. Pictures do not do justice to the reality of the situation. In the grand scheme of things, I am only trying to save my stores, not my house, so I feel very fortunate.
Brian points to how high the water level went to at his Ship Bottom store during the storm.
“We are now at the stage of taking the walls off to 5 feet in the Ship Bottom store, our main location. Mold has set in and we need to save what we can. We raised product to 4 feet in the store, but that was not enough. The water level was something I could have never imagined.
“I’m on the phone daily with my insurance agent trying to understand the process and how to proceed. This is all new to me. It’s still too early to tell about how our insurance will handle our losses, but we have very good coverage for situations like this. We do not have business interruption insurance since this was a flood. I am looking into other storefronts here on the mainland now. The holiday season is one of our busiest.
“Our Beach Haven store had 6 feet in the first floor, our Patagonia store, which is raised, had 2 feet, and our warehouse had 3 feet of water. Our Surf City store did not have any water damage.
A view of the women's section in the Farias Ship Bottom store
“I am coming to the realization that the Ship Bottom store will not be in shape to open again until the spring. And the island will take a long time to come back as well. But there is such a positive attitude here within the community.
"The outpouring of support is incredible and that really helps to motivate everyone. My friends have become family and faith has become a foundation. So really, it is not a question of if normalcy will return, but when.
“Access to Long Beach Island is off limits Wednesday as another storm takes aim at the North East. We will get back at it as soon as this one passes. Maybe I can score a few barrels for a couple hours from this next system as therapy.
“I am very thankful for the people who are working tirelessly to rebuild our island and provide assistance for those who need it. The local, state and federal authorities are doing an amazing job. This is an unprecedented event and hopefully one that will never be repeated.
“Thanks for the concern and my heart goes out to everyone who is affected here in NY and NJ.”