Last week, we wrote about the threats to the Eastern Seaboard of the United States posed by rising waters and increasingly powerful hurricanes. In October 2012, the entire region from the Florida Keys to New England was affected with varying degrees of severity by the largest hurricane ever to form in the Atlantic Ocean. At its peak, Hurricane Sandy measured 1800 km across. It caused devastation in the Caribbean and made landfall in New Jersey. The associated storm surge caused major flooding of buildings and subways in New York. Estimates put the damage caused at around $75 billion.
A Family Business Flooded
Architectural Grille are an engineering business specialising in ornamental and perforated grilles. Vice Presidents of the family-run business, Anthony Jr and Stephen Giumenta, had never experienced any flooding at their Brooklyn factory before. Hurricane Sandy brought winds up to 160 kmph and widespread flooding to the region. Architectural Grille’s factory was severely affected by those floodwaters damaging the buildings and wrecking the engineering plant and equipment – including precision CNC laser and valuable water-jet machines. The total cost of the damage for the Giumenta family was over a million dollars.
Anthony Jr told us:
“We didn’t expect the storm to hit, they mostly head out to the Atlantic by the time they reach us. Our insurance paid out $230,000 for the damage to the buildings but we had no specific flood risk insurance for the equipment.”
Anthony and Stephen told us they considered selling up and relocating the business but realized they would struggle to sell the premises as now prone to flooding with insurance premiums likely to put off any would-be buyer. They began to look into flood barriers that would protect them from future events. In the fall of 2013, Bill Kiriluk approached the Giumenta family and showed them Flood Ark flood barriers for the first time.
Anthony Jr immediately saw their potential:
“We could see Flood Arks were the solution to our problems. We could not afford to take the risk of being flooded again.”
Having received the order via our partners in Long Island, Flood Ark Managing Director, Steve Abbott, flew to New York and headed to Brooklyn where he surveyed the 13 openings for the entire factory. All the barriers were then manufactured back at our facility in the UK before being loaded into a container and shipped to America.
In early December of that year, our team of three installers flew out for a two-week window to fit the job. After ten days, all the barriers had been fitted to the factory. The installation went pretty seamlessly allowing our team a couple of days to take in the sights of New York before flying back to the UK.
Anthony Jr contacted us recently:
“We valued your time when you were here. Since the initial install, we haven’t had any problems with the flood barriers. Let us know when you are next back here in the US and say hello to everyone on the other side of the pond.”
We’re looking to increase our share of the American flood defences market so we are grateful for this ringing endorsement from Architectural Grille. The owners of homes and businesses on either side of the Atlantic that wish to be proactive about protecting their premises from flooding should get in touch.
You can call our office on +44 1603 879977 or email any questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.