CRANFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A plan can’t come soon enough for home and business owners impacted by the remnants of Hurricane Ida.
Many are still cleaning up the damage left behind.
CBS2’s Jessica Layton has more from New Jersey, where residents in two neighboring towns have come together to help each other.
A drive through Cranford shows plenty of lost property still needs to be picked up, but one woman said she wants to focus on how she has been lifted up with kindness from two communities.
“The amount of help support, has just been tremendous, amazing,” Danielle DeCostello said. “It’s humbling. It’s humbling and it’ll bring me to tears.”
DeCostello admitted she has cried more times than she can count over the last two weeks. Ida brought so much flooding to her home and street.
“I watched as tidal waves took over cars that were parked over there,” she said.
And as she saw her hometown sink under water, her skincare business in the town of Millburn was also getting destroyed. She said she only knew about it because of the videos people were posting on social media.
“And I swear it was like watching white water rafting,” DeCostello said. “And what made it even worse is for three days after I could not get to my business.”
So for those three days, as friends in Cranford helped clean up each other’s homes, it turns out strangers were tending to her beloved shop, Bella Organici, eight miles away.
“Unfortunately, my Millburn business got four feet of water. We are currently not able to see clients. We lost $6,000 in machines, $2,000 in inventory,” DeCostello said.
Not only did volunteers in Millburn pitch in to help dry out her damaged store, a local group helped find her an empty store front for her business on the other side of town. She said she hopes to open in two weeks.
Local realtor Joanna Parker-Lentz had a hand in that.
“The way the people have come together is just unbelievable and makes you want to cry and be thankful that you live here,” Parker-Lentz said.
“The fact that Cranford is always Cranford strong, Millburn is Millburn strong. When you think there won’t be anybody there and everyone is there, it’s an amazing feeling,” DeCostello said.
Two towns with one mission: to stay Jersey strong and help neighbors in need.
CBS2’s Jessica Layton contributed to this report.