Artwork, music equipment and tools for livelihoods among the casualties of Ida's flooding

In addition to Ida's flood damages to residences in New Jersey, the deluge also destroyed thousands of dollars' worth of equipment, tools, and years of work for some who work out of their homes.

News 12 Staff

Sep 10, 2021, 12:09 AM

Updated 945 days ago

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In addition to Ida's flood damages to residences in New Jersey, the deluge also destroyed thousands of dollars' worth of equipment, tools, and years of work for some who work out of their homes.
When flooding from Ida surged into Manny Cabo's basement in Elizabeth, it washed away the singer/songwriter's livelihood, at least for now.
"I had my strobe lights, my fog machine and I would perform my Facebook Live concerts here," Cabo says.
Cabo, a former contestant on "The Voice," had his recording studio in the basement.
"It was a custom-made vocal booth that was 3 foot by 7 foot, just barely, hitting the ceiling where I would record all my singles," Cabo explains.
He is also a music photographer who lost that equipment as well -- in all, tens of thousands of dollars' worth, he says, along with three family vehicles.
He is not alone in the arts community reeling from devastating and costly flooding.
Artist Alaine Becker, of South Orange, says it was crushing to come out to her studio and find her archive of drawings on paper soaked.
"I was crying. I remembered every single piece I did and when I did it. It's almost like children," Becker says.
Becker, whose abstract and representational art is exhibited in galleries and at universities, put some works out to dry, but many of the pastel drawings had to be thrown away along with several thousand dollars in art supplies she says on top of damage to her home and vehicles.
"It's years and years of work that's gone, so it's just incredibly difficult for me," she says.
But both Becker and Cabo say they will keep creating despite the major setback because that's what artists do.


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