RYE, N.Y. - In late August, Claire Hassi was already preparing her little country store in Rye for Thanksgiving. She was blessed and thankful she got to do it for her 38th year in business but days later all Claire lived for was gone.
The remnants of Hurricane Ida brought 8 feet of floodwaters into the basement of her store.
"It's heart-wrenching. This is my business,' Claire said. "This is what I've done for 38 years."
Two stoves, multiple refrigerators, and every ounce of food were gone.
"Everything was floating. Our equipment, our cooking tools, blenders — everything was underwater," she said. "Pretty painful to look at."
Claire is in the process of figuring out how to rebuild. For now, her store refrigerators sit empty with no food for any customers to buy. She isn't quite sure how to replace what she lost. She is already paying off a loan from when Hurricane Irene left damage 10 years ago and she can't afford to apply for another one.
"Kind words, offers to help, offers to come back when we are back — that's what's kept me going," Claire said, thanking the community for their help.
APPLYING FOR FEMA ASSISTANCE
You can reach out to FEMA to see if you qualify for help by going to DisasterAssistance.gov.
"Due to current disaster activity, we are experiencing heavy call volumes. But you can apply for assistance and check the status of your case online," FEMA states on its website. "Once you have applied for FEMA assistance, your case will be reviewed."