Remarkable reports of courage and endurance came into The Green Sheet as acquirers in the region rode out Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. Writing on GS Online's MLS Forum from Lakewood, N.J., in Ocean County, one of the hardest hit areas in Sandy's path, MAKETELINC reported many in his town were still without power and heat days after the storm struck, but they were still better off than towns just a few miles away.
"The boardwalks are gone," he noted. County officials reported Nov. 8, 2012, that four people died in Ocean County as a result of the storm.
MAKETELINC said he luckily didn't lose power, Internet or phone service, so he shared his office with two other businesses and his home with another family. "Thank God in our town no one died, although a few did get injured," he said. "The National Guard was patrolling the ghost areas where families evacuated due to damage or lack of power and heat." After the storm, hardships increased as temperatures at night fell below freezing and a storm out of the northeast dropped snow in the area.
CCNJ in Teaneck, N.J. said her town was also badly hit. "Slowly, parts of the town are coming back to where they seem more like normal; though voting is still significantly impacted by schools that don't have power and others that are still temporary emergency shelters," she reported.
CCNJ is Vice President of the Teaneck Chamber of Commerce and handled communications for that group during the storm. "The amazing thing about my community is how we all pull together in the wake of such devastation," she said, noting many shared their power generators and reached out in many ways to help their neighbors.
"As people began getting power back, the community started opening up their homes to strangers to allow others to have heat, shower, charging phones/laptops etc.," she said. "I can't talk too much more about this. The last week was literally hell for us dealing with the fallout and damages but we'll survive."
Michael Nardy, Electronic Payments Inc. Chief Executive Officer, posted happy news on the Forum as Sandy's destruction was still being evaluated in Southampton, Suffolk County, on the south fork of Long Island, N.Y., where his company is headquartered.
"During the power outage of Sandy, my wife Heather (former Marketing Director for Comstar Interactive) and I were at Southampton Hospital," he said. "We welcomed Madison Fay Nardy into the world at 4:23 this a.m. She is a beautiful girl weighing in at 5 lbs. 11 oz. and measuring 18 inches. Mom did great. Baby is healthy and has been sleeping all day.
"For our clients wishing the best for EPI and our office and staff during the tumult of Sandy, many thanks! It means a lot to have the caring ISOs and agents that we do! Little did you know the CEO was in the hospital with his wife reading these emails and just unable to respond due to the weather and lack of Internet/power."
Regarding the storm's impact on business, CCNJ said, "I know I'll be taking the hit next month when I get my residuals."
MAKETELINC said many customers had reported problems with surged-out terminals; he expects to receive more such reports as power is restored. He also said the credit card network was not working, and finding cash was also a problem.
"My ISO is on Long Island, and many businesses still do not have power or phone service," AMSPROCESSING stated. "My November numbers are down 70 percent (about 80 percent of my business is on Long Island.) "Any biz by the water ... was completely decimated and might not ever return. Some merchants brought their terminals to my office today to process some transactions. It's been rough."
The payments industry responded to the disaster with generosity and concern. Here are Just a few examples:
The Green Sheet will continue to post press releases we receive about Hurricane Sandy relief efforts on our home page at www.greensheet.com.
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