After darkness fell on October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall. That night, Dale and Leanne Arnold, owners of Custom Vinyl Graphics, faced the total destruction of their flourishing business.
Despite the couple’s efforts the day before to take precautionary measures by lifting machinery and moving all equipment and inventory high above the ground, the storm moved through their neighborhood in a fury, leaving water rising to unexpected levels.
Nothing could prepare Dale for what he would witness. While he remained at home to ensure that the generator would keep the sump pump going, he was otherwise helpless. Unable to lift the 400-pound machines up a flight of stairs himself, he literally stood by, watching the business the Arnolds built bobbing in the water.
Within hours, five feet of water wiped out $34,000 worth of equipment and inventory. There was nothing left of Custom Vinyl Graphics but a flooded shop and later, hundreds of cancelled orders.
The town was powerless for an entire month. The electric company would literally not power up until every homewas inspected. With no electric and no heat, Dale worked tirelessly to rebuild the business.
“We were effectively out of business for two months,” Leanne recalls. I was uncertain about what we should or could do, but my husband never thought twice. He made phone calls to locate new equipment, borrowed a van and drove hundreds of miles to pick up the new machines.”
Then, approximately two months after Superstorm Sandy struck, the Arnolds were back in business, with a completely refurbished shop stocked with all the latest equipment and the inventory necessary to return to normalcy.
Dale had single-handedly put the 10-year-old business back together.
“He did everything but pour the new concrete floor,” Leanne says.