CORNWALL, NY (CBS 2) – A creek running toward the Hudson River became a river of destruction, sweeping away several businesses and hundreds of badly-needed jobs in Orange County, CBS 2′s Lou Young reports.
The flood waters rushed into a creekside complex of businesses in Cornwall, reducing it to rubble.
“All the businesses that were down here have been wiped out,” said Bill Diamond.
On one end of the scale is a candlemaker who picked through the mud for remnants of his livelihood. At the other end, a processed food-wrapping firm that still has Welch’s fruit rolls that were on the line when the flood came as workers try to save the ruined machinery.
“I don’t have another job,” said worker Marta Herrera.
There was also an electronics firm, a distributor of restaurant products, and a furniture maker.
The damage is amazing. An awful smell emanates from a brand new furniture delivery truck buried up to its wheels in sand and ruined by the river water.
Around 700 workers came to this complex every day and many of them may soon be unemployed.
“I’ve been working here 15 years and this could be it,” said Christopher Lloyd.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do for a living next week,” said Joe Longobardi. “I do some construction but this is how I make my living. I don’t know.”
The big employer here, SP&G packaging group, says they have two to four weeks to find financial help, rebuild the plant, and reopen before their clients move elsewhere.
But many of the smaller operators are already finished.
“I have insurance but they say not for flood,” said Samuel Marcus of Simcha Candle Co. “It’s almost a million dollars worth.”
“Do you see a business here? Do you see any way a business can operate the way things are here? I don’t think so,” said Haskel Landau.
One employee says he always considered the sound of running water to be soothing. But after this he says, it will forever fill him with a sense of dread.
Ironically, the complex was built by the creek to take advantage of hydro-power a century ago.
Now its proximity to the water has been its undoing.
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