KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Residents in the northeast are picking up the pieces after two recent storms; one local restaurant has a connection to the area and is doing its part to help.
Robert Ranuro is one of the family owners of Biggies in Kingsport, and says he went back to his New Jersey hometown after Hurricane Sandy hit to check on his family's three other restaurants. He did not expect what he saw. "The amount of devastation and destruction is unbelievable," said Ranuro.
Ranuro tells us he found most of the restaurants in good condition. "Our two locations, the one in Carlstadt and one in Hoboken, faired pretty well. We lost power so we lost all of our product," said Ranuro.
However, the original store was not as lucky and was found fully flooded, causing them to gut the whole place.
Ranuro says he was not the only one affected. "As you drive through Hoboken there were just cars underwater and as the water receded then there was just garbage," he told us.
He showed us pictures of how the surrounding area looked and said the Red Cross was a big help, providing medication, blankets, food and housing to those in need. "We've seen it first-hand, how they come in and help people," said Ranuro.
That is why Ranuro and Biggies want to help the cause by starting a fund for the Red Cross Relief Fund. "If you donate $20 or $30 we'll give you a $20 or $30 gift card that you can use here at this location," said Ranuro.
Ranuro says they plan to continue to move forward. "Try to get back to normal business and continue to help where we can," he said.
If you are interested in helping with the relief fund, they are taking donations at the Biggies in Kingsport through Thanksgiving.
Ranuro tells us they hope to have their original restaurant reopened in a few weeks.