Businesses Making Money Off Hurricane Sandy


-Plumbers, Electricians: Basim Mansour, owner of Michael & Son Services in Alexandria, Va., tells the Post his volume of incoming calls has increased 20 percent. Plumbing-related sales have increased 35 percent, he estimates, mostly from homeowners reporting broken generators or non-working sump pumps. At the John C. Flood company, also in Alexandria, owner Moe Haislip tells the Post his crews are working 16-hour shifts. "Our business is up probably 30 or 40 percent," he said earlier this week, when the number of people without power in the Washington area was estimated to be more than 100,000.

According to the Plumbing Inspectors Association, once a home water heater becomes flooded, the manufacturer's warranty automatically becomes void. Homeowners can try to dry them out themselves, but it's easier and safer to call a plumber.

-Scrap yards. All over the Northeast, scrap yards are bracing for a spike in business. At Rockaway Recycling in Rockaway, N.J., owner Tom Buechel told the Wall St. Journal, "We know that we're going to be very busy for the next few months. We have to benefit from other people's misery, but this is a business." Yard owners say they expect to see a 10 percent to 15 percent weekly increase in scrap metal volume, starting in about a week—first in the form of aluminum siding, copper pipes and home wiring; then steel from light posts, boilers and hot water heaters. Last will come cars, once insurance companies have consigned them to the heap.

-Boat Repair. Though many boats were tossed around, beached or broken by the hurricane, and though demand for repairs is strong, work temporarily is being hampered by two factors, according to a spokesman for the Boat Owners Association of the United States: Many marinas literally were washed away; and those that have survived are having trouble getting electric power.

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