Story by Jeff Lipton
Since Hurricane Sandy carved a destructive path through
Long Beach nearly two months ago, storage containers have been
popping up in driveways throughout the city.
Residents have contacted companies such as PODS
Enterprises [Portable On Demand Storage] to rent these storage containers to keep furniture, valuables and
other family possessions safe while their storm-ravaged homes are restored and
“In fact, at the beginning a lot of people were
having trouble getting them,” said Long Beach Buildings Commissioner Scott
“They are a safe and secure place to keep belongings that have been
salvaged while homes are being repaired.
“Our job is to expedite people getting back into
their homes and if PODS can help with that, then it’s a big part of the
recovery effort,” added Kemins, adding that the number of storage containers emerging
in the community has been staggering. “We’ve gotten a lot of people inquiring
about them, asking us if they can put them in their driveway.”
John Bornmiller, general manager of PODS on Long
Island, said his company has barely been able to keep up with demand, with the
most requests for service coming from Long Beach.
“That poor community of Long Beach, we’ve been out
there so much,” said Bornmiller. “We got flooded with calls from there when the
More than 1,400 storage containers have been shipped
to Long Island post-Sandy, including 900 foldable storage units that are so
compact that they could be sent 16 at a time instead of three in one shot, said
Immediately after the storm there was such demand
that PODS experienced a two-week waiting list. But residents were thrilled that
the storage services were available to them.
“Long Beach residents were hugging our drivers and
smiling because they were so happy to see them and that they were there to help
them out,” said Bornmiller. “It was crazy.”
The company’s 14-truck drivers were working 14-hour
days and 22 days straight, Bornmiller said.
“When Long Beach residents would see one of our
drivers in the neighborhood, they would run out of their house and ask how they
could get one,” he added. “Our workers put their own lives and families on
hold to help Long Beach out,” he said. “They have a sense of responsibility to
help the community.”
He said the stories of victims in Long Beach have
been so heart-wrenching, including one elderly couple who had four 4 of
water in their basement and needed to protect their belongings. But they were
afraid the container would damage their driveway so they had it propped up on
He said the storage containers, which measure 8-feet wide, 8-feet high and 16-feet long, can be rented on a monthly
basis or for two to three years.
The containers, Bornmiller said, are extremely spacious.
“You could fit a three-room house in one of them,” he said.
The monthly cost can be up to $209.99 and
customers could have a container delivered and set up in their driveway or use
one of four PODS’ rental warehouses in Jamaica, Queens, Bethpage, Calverton or Hauppauge.
Bornmiller said after the superstorm the number of PODS’
storage containers in use on Long Island increased from 2,110 to 3,284.
ODS also provides moving services if residents so
Kemins said the recovery effort in Long Beach has
been moving along.
“A lot of people’s homes are being repaired and a
lot of people are moving back into their homes,” said Kemins. “We’re definitely
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