Ice cream puddle, rice cake goop; Sandy slams a small NJ business

Thu Nov 1, 2012 5:22pm EDT
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By Chelsea Emery

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Yoshiaki Yuyama entered freezer No. 5 for the first time on Thursday, hoping the tight doors had spared some $9000 worth of mochi ice cream in his Fairview, New Jersey, factory after Hurricane Sandy destroyed power and flooded the building.

He had been without power for more than 48 hours

Breath steaming in the cold air, Yuyama and his manager Yasuhisa Tanaka, ripped open one of 300 boxes, each holding 96 tennis-ball sized ice-cream balls wrapped in sweet pounded rice called mochi.

They squeezed the soft green packages and groaned.

A total loss. Everything would have to be thrown away. Another freezer held some 2000 boxes of the sweet Japanese treat, and those would have to go, too.

Yuyama's experience echoes that of thousands of small business owners across the U.S. East Coast, who are struggling to mop up after one of the largest storms to ever hit the United States.

Many businesses are still without heat, power and telephone service. Some are losing thousands of dollars per day as the storm's impact drags on.

"Losing my business means losing my house, said Yuyama. "It means losing everything." He said he's not yet sure what insurance will cover, if anything.   Continued...