One of the only supermarkets that services Coney Island and Sea Gate was hit hard during Hurricane Sandy, first by the storm, then by looters, but the store is now back in business. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
With new registers and refrigerators, new deli slicers and scales, a Key Food on Neptune Avenue is back in business after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the entire store. Residents said it's a sign of things getting back to normal.
"It was pretty hard," said one resident. "There was no food in the whole neighborhood."
"Thank God the Key Food opened again," said another. "We were so happy."
"It's hard when you need one thing and you have to go so far," said a third. "It's nice for it to be back."
The aisles were a mess after the storm. Store employees took video before they started the massive cleanup.
"It was horrible," said Lanteria Shrowder, an employee at Key Food. "The stench. It was, yuck."
Adding to the messy challenge was the fact that the store had no electricity.
"We had one small generator, which lit up about half the store," said Danny Doleh, the manager of the Key Food. "The rest of us just used flashlights and iPhones."
In the days after Hurricane Sandy hit, the Key Food became a prime target for looters. Police said they arrested 18 people for looting the store. Employees said what they took was canned goods and junk food. But in the end, the store didn't press charges.
"What good would we have gotten out of going after them?" Doleh said. "They actually needed it. They needed food. They needed stuff. They needed to survive. We're not going to hold anything against anyone."
After the cleanup, the store opened little by little, first with dry foods when the holiday season started, then with dairy and produce. Now, managers said they're fully stocked.