Ida wipes out PPE seller's entire inventory, owner vows to bounce back

WHITE PLAINS, Westchester County (WABC) -- Westchester County business owner Kevin Ryan was shocked to see his warehouse full of office and cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment floating in feet of floodwater after the remnants of Hurricane Ida deluged the Tri-State.

The storm damage wiped out nearly everything he had put into his business.

"All of the computers we lost, all of the inventory, it was about $80,000," Ryan said.

For Ryan, it's been a roller coaster year and a half.

He's long operated an order fulfillment business out of his home in White Plains.

His contracts with distributors in China put him in the unique position of being able to acquire PPE in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic when businesses and governments were scrambling.

"People from hospitals calling, FaceTiming us. We had fertility clinics throughout the whole country calling us. Police officers, EMS, everybody knew that Kevin had the supplies," Ryan said.

The business grew so fast Ryan needed a warehouse and rented a 2,500 square feet space in Mamaroneck as PPE distribution became the bulk of the business.

"When the police department, when the EMS came in, they would just take boxes of masks and gloves. It just felt like we were doing something, trying to help during this crazy time," Ryan's assistant Liz Rodriguez said.

It is now a different crazy time in Mamaroneck which is still cleaning up from Ida.

Ryan's warehouse sits less than 100 feet from the Sheldrake River which overflowed in the storm, but he said his business is down but not out.

"Definitely a rough hit, but fortunately I'm confident that we'll be back strong," Ryan said.

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