When Superstorm Sandy swept into our lives late last October, there were few basements located in Zone A evacuation areas that were spared. Some people lost treasured family heirlooms while others lost irreplaceable photo albums. Arkady Bukh, a local Sheepshead lawyer who operates his firm (Bukh & Associates) out of a two story house, lost many important files all stored in his flooded basement according to a story in New York Law Journal.
Bukh & Associates, a seven attorney firm, located at 1123 Avenue Z, suffered extensive damage to their offices, with over 40 percent of it flooded, and damages running into the hundreds of thousands. Bukh paints the state of his office in bleak terms.
“The condition is bad. We’re talking about the humidity. We’re talking about the smell. We’re talking about the mold. We’re talking about the whole nine yards,” he said.
To make matters worse, Bukh’s insurance company highly doubts he can recover the loss.
One thing money can’t cover is the recovery of critical documents and files destroyed by flood waters. For example, Bukh’s firm, which deals heavily in immigration law, has no way of replacing the original passports and foreign certificates lost in clients’ files.
“I can’t sell the position to clients [to pay again]for something that was already done. We have to swallow the loss,” he said.
New York Court employees operating in neighborhoods that have seen extensive flooding told the New York Law Journal that they had not seen an influx of water logged files. Even still, Bukh suspects that he isn’t the only firm located in a flood zone dealing with this problem.
According to Bukh, his firm, which normally takes in $1.5 million yearly, is probably going to take a 30 percent loss in revenue.