By CBSNewYork Team

SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds of people have been locked out of their storage units for months after the remnants of Hurricane Ida rolled through the area.

They’ve been fighting to gain access and stop big companies, like Public Storage, from throwing out their belongings.

READ MORE: Family Allowed Into New Jersey Storage Unit For First Time Since Hurricane Ida Hit

Now, there’s a bill in Trenton to prevent this from happening again. CBS2’s Meg Baker talked to those affected.

“I am hoping, first of all, that my lock has not been popped and that we are able to at least get in and view for ourselves the damages that are done,” Newark resident Jaqueline Slappy previously told Baker.

Unfortunately for Slappy, all of her belongings were thrown out by Public Storage. When a remediation expert hired by customers went in to check their units, hers was empty.

Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, who represents Union County, told Baker someone needs to stop big storage companies from doing this.

“I spoke to the attorney general’s office. They don’t actually regulate public storage companies, but I can tell you now they will soon,” he said. “I have introduced legislation to require public storage companies to allow people to see their goods before they are thrown away.”

In Slappy’s case, a lawyer had to intervene and get an injunction from a judge to stop Public Storage from throwing any more units into dumpsters. Customers couldn’t believe it took hiring a lawyer and this much of a fight to see the damage for themselves.

Scotch Plains resident Garry Pastore has $40,000 worth of tools inside his unit. In order to see if they are salvageable, he has to hire a private remediation company, which he said will cost $3,500.

READ MORE: New Jersey Storage Company Served Injunction Stopping Them From Tossing Customer's Storm-Damaged Belongings Without Her OK

“They are taking my livelihood,” he said.

Public Storage had told customers the building was deemed hazardous after the flood.

Ida hit New Jersey on Sept. 1. It’s now Nov. 1. Mold was allowed to grow, as access was denied.

Many Baker spoke with over the past few weeks were getting ready to move. Their entire lives were inside the building. They at least wanted a chance to say goodbye.

“I’m not a big person on regulation, but if private companies don’t respect consumers, we are going to make sure they do,” Bramnick said.

He plans to investigate what happened here.

“I’m going to have a hearing, and, if we have to, we are going to make sure we bring down these public storage companies. They are going to answer some questions in Trenton,” Bramnick said.

Customers have 20 days to hire a private remediation company to remove their items. It’s a race to get in, but many do not have the thousands of dollars to pay for this additional service.

MORE NEWS: New Jersey Residents Upset They Have Not Been Able To Access Public Storage Unit In Scotch Plains Since Ida Struck Area

CBS2’s Meg Baker contributed to this report.

CBSNewYork Team