Six Months After Sandy, Businesses in the Hoboken Terminal Still Struggle
Train engines hum in anticipation of the upcoming rush hour.
Bhuchung Tempa stands patiently behind his kiosk, where he sells scarves, hats, and iPhone cases. He says he lost ninety percent of his merchandise in Sandy, and business hasn’t been the same since he reopened in January.
"All of the business inside this terminal is washed out...next time, we have to be careful!" says Tempa, "Next time, I'd take all of my merchandise home."
Around the corner from Tempa's kiosk is Jackie Gracesqui, who owns the Lakawanna liquor store. She had to move her merchandise into a vacant newspaper venue, after the shop she worked in for thirty years shut down. Gracesqui says she has about forty percent of her business back but a cramped space doesn't help matters.
“We don’t have all the quantities that we used to have with wine and beer, but they’re telling us by June we should be ready. So we’ll get back to real business when we have everything, so nobody can complain that we don’t have anything," says Gracesqui, "So far, I just ask people to have patience with us.”
Other businesses around the terminal are still closed and gutted out, but Gracesqui has hope for the future.
"You have to start crawling before you start walking and that’s what we’re doing."
The Hoboken Terminal was flooded with several feet of water when Sandy hit. The electric trains started running again in March.