SCOTCH PLAINS, New Jersey (WABC) -- There is more waterlogged frustration for customers of a New Jersey Public Storage facility. After Hurricane Ida submerged their units, the nation's largest storer told dozens of customers that instead of salvaging their soaked possessions, they were tossing them out.
7 On Your Side got a call from one more unhappy customer - New York football legend Carl Banks.
"They're giving us a lot of dazzle, and we need to call a blitz and get there," said Banks.
Banks is used to moving mountains as a hard-charging all-pro linebacker for the Giants. But the now-former footballer says he has been knocked back - one of the frustrated customers of Public Storage in Scotch Plains.
"We got a letter saying it's uninhabitable - doesn't the state have to condemn it?" said Banks.
Now the radio voice of the Giants, Banks stored every scrap of memorabilia he owned - a priceless collection saved from two world championships - more than a decade in pro pads - apparently submerged by Ida's floodwaters.
"My family legacy is in there - it's heartbreaking to be honest with you," said Banks' son, Carl Jr.
Banks and his son both say Public Storage originally promised access to the prized possessions, then reversed course, stating their environmental health consultants said everyone's contents are a 'total loss and unsalvageable' and are 'hazardous' due to 'raw sewage and mold caused by the storm.'
However, Banks says his mountain of memorabilia were packed up in waterproof plastic bins and wrapped in waterproof Ziploc bags.
"We know that some of that didn't get wet," he said.
He is not alone - all week, renters have been showing up to try to access what is theirs and saw teams in hazmat suits throwing items in the dumpster. Public Storage called in the police.
"I want to get to them what I have and don't have," said Public Storage customer Stephen Magliotta.
"They have held us emotionally hostage - it's been weeks and weeks," added Susan Schlisserman.
They were told to file a claim through the insurance company, and Public Storage said it had "no choice" but to "dispose of the items for the safety of the community."
Mary Jean Murphy went to court to protect her irreplaceable content.
"I have ashes...my wedding gown," she said.
It cost Murphy a few thousand to hire a lawyer, but the group that has gathered at Public Storage says they are going to do a class action and hopefully keep their stuff from getting thrown out.
Submit a News Tip