To the editor:
My name is Stephen Boos and am the president of Holly Expert Tree Care Service Inc. of Staten Island. We are a small tree service of five to seven employees that maintains trees, shrubs and sells firewood.
As you know, on Oct. 29, Hurricane Sandy devastated the New York and New Jersey metropolitan areas, with Staten Island being among hardest hit. Thousands of people lost their homes and businesses, many lost their lives.
In my wildest dreams I never thought we would be among the victims but on Oct. 29, we found out the hard way that nature has no mercy and anyone can be a victim. As hard as we had worked to prepare for this storm it was not enough. We had prepared for a rare 5 to 7 foot surge of seawater but instead we had an unprecedented 11 to 14 foot surge hit us. We had moved all of our trucks and equipment, office, shop and inventory to higher ground but just wasn't high enough. Most everything went under water and also about 100 cords of firewood just up and floated away.
The insurance company said "it is flood-related so except for the trucks, you're not covered."
FEMA said they don't help businesses.
Both my insurance company and my government had basically turned their backs on us.
I didn't ask for or even expect this but the folks at AMVETS Post 2000 and their ladies auxiliary in Fort Plain heard about our plight and went out of their way to help us. On Nov. 8, they held a benefit dinner to help me and my company to recover and rebuild in the aftermath of this natural disaster. It is truly heartwarming to know that there are people out there who will help when the chips are down and there is no one else to turn to.
Thanks to their hard work and generosity we have been able to start to rebuild some of our equipment and are now back to work.
Thank You AMVETS Post 2000 and ladies auxiliary.
Stephen J. Boos,