Manhattan may have been spared the brunt of Sandy's wrath, but she still left behind plenty of property damage: Chelsea's Manhattan Mini-Storage location flooded during the storm, forcing the facility to toss their customers' ruined belongings [UPDATED BELOW].
A tipster tells us the company emailed their customers this week to let them know lockers at the 21st Street storage facility had sustained significant flooding during storm surge, and many stored items were irreparably damaged. The tipster says Manhattan Mini Storage invited customers to come get their belongings, then emailed them again citing concern that the flood waters had contaminated storage items with "potentially hazardous mold or other substances," and that they were evacuating (and even dumping) the facility's contents sooner than expected.
"There are so many new yorkers who 'trust' their storage cos with their belongings, and this truly brings to light the way these places actually operate during the times we really need them," the tipster said in an email [sic]. "There are many new yorkers who quite literally have everything they own in these units, all of it gone in one fell swoop."
Customers say Manhattan Mini-Storage didn't give them a chance to collect their stored belongings prior to the storm, and that they were only notified of the damage this week. It is unclear whether the company's insurance policy will cover the damaged items.
[UPDATED]: A spokesperson from Manhattan Mini-Storage emailed us the following:
Manhattan Mini Storage did suffer some flooding from the Hurricane Sandy storm surge, the worst of which occurred at our two 21st Street locations. In the hours and days immediately following the storm, we notified any customers whose storage units may have been affected via regular and certified postal mail, phone calls and, most recently, emails. We have also posted real-time recovery updates on our web site, as well as all our social media platforms. In addition, we have offered our services to all New Yorkers who may have been impacted by the hurricane, offering free storage, office space, packing supplies and other basic necessities to anyone who calls our 24-Hour emergency hotline.
Contrary to some media reports, we are not discarding people's belongings. We are simply moving them to another location so customers can have a chance to look through them and keep/dispose of them as they see fit if they do not come to the facility themselves over the weekend.
The company also says that they've been working around the clock to recover damaged items, and that they were forced to shut their normally 24-hour-service down before and briefly after the storm as a safety precaution. In addition, since insurance policies may not cover flood damage, they'll be implementing a good-will relief program to help customers with recovery efforts as soon as they can.