CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Nearly two years ago, David Gordon’s Cheektowaga-based companies were crushed by the sheer weight of what came to be known as the “Snowvember” storm, in mid-November, 2014. The roof of his massive warehouse collapsed under tons of heavy wet snow.
Gordon’s properties, the warehouse, a general store and warehouse, and a banquet hall—all located along Union Road—were in the path of a snow band that buried parts of Western New York under as much as 7 feet of snow.
Parts of Gordon’s 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse were nearly flattened, “It was completely–just like a pancake—crushed,” the Clarence businessman recalled. The force of the roof caving in blew out the warehouse’s 35’ outer walls, and millions of dollars of inventory was sent tumbling out into the snow.
Gordon’s Internet business, ChristmasCentral.com was teetering on the brink, “The inventory, not only was it crushed by the building, it was exposed to the elements. It was still snowing, everything was getting snow all over it, and I realized we were finished.”
As Gordon assesses the damage, the sheer enormity of his losses set in, “When I came back here and I saw the total destruction, I was floored, I was actually brought to tears. I said this is a very bad thing.”
But the nightmare was not over. A valued employee, David Deneke, got stuck in the snow for days and died before first responders could reach him. It was also their peak shipping season for their Internet customers.
Gordon and his staff then decided to turn it around, as messages of support came in from all over the world, “We got a lot of letters from people around the country–emails, gifts in the mail, fruit baskets, donations. It was fabulous.”
In less than two years, Gordon has rebuilt his store and his business. The redesigned warehouse is now tougher and stronger than before.
“We have gone full circle. We are back. Our company is thriving again, on the Internet and in our local retail stores. Things have worked out, but it has been a long haul.”
Gordon is stocking up the warehouse, as ChristmasCentral.com gears up for the holidays. Gordon also owns Dave’s Christmas Wonderland and store, which he kept open after the warehouse collapse because they sold groceries there, the only place neighbors could buy food, until the roads were plowed.