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Waiting on a Hurricane

My office is closed today, due to the approach of Hurricane Sandy. Outside the wind is howling and the water is rising, and we’re waiting for the worst to come later tonight.

Hurricanes are rare in the New York area, but they’re quite common in cigar country, and I’ve been getting calls and emails of concern from friends in the cigar industry. Jorge Padrón called, checking on how things looked up here, and I just got off the phone with Litto Gomez, who was also checking in on me. Earlier, Rafael Nodal sent me an email. They’ve all been through the same and much worse, but they know that all of us up here in the north are hurricane novices.

If you make cigars, hurricanes are a part of your world, and there are legendary storms that have reshaped the cigar world. Hurricane Gilbert tore the roof from the Royal Jamaica factory in 1988, and the brand had to be moved from Jamaica as a result.

Hurricane Georges nearly ended the Fuente Fuente OpusX brand, taking down so many of the Fuente Family’s tobacco curing barns in 1998 they doubted they could go on. And Hurricane Mitch, a brutal storm that killed thousands in Central America, shut down the Nicaraguan and Honduran cigar industries for a time in 1998, scouring away tobacco fields.

Sandy is supposed to be bad, but we’ve had time to prepare and hopefully it shall pass without too much harm. For all of you in the path of this storm, stay safe.

Thomas Person louisville, KY, USA, October 29, 2012 1:55pm ET
You and yours stay safe too.
David Savona October 30, 2012 9:13pm ET
Well, that was as bad as anticipated. No power, downed trees, floods, that was lousy. It even knocked out for updates. We'll be back as soon as possible.
Hadrien van Durme November 5, 2012 2:57pm ET
I hope things are slowely settling back to normal in Cuba? I would love to get some more updates on what the situation there looks like and how bad the concequences are for the cigar industry. Many thoughts go out to you from Belgium.
Jonathan Jeschke Dallas, Texas, USA, November 6, 2012 1:52pm ET
Hope everything is okay with all of ya'll. I know ya'll have been away from updationg the website, just checking up on cigar aficionado
David Savona November 6, 2012 4:55pm ET
We are just getting back up now. Power was out for us at Cigar Aficionado until Saturday, Internet damaged until now. What a storm! I know our problems pale in comparison to those who lost lives or homes in this deadly storm. Thanks for all the well wishes and please help out those who are in need of shelter, warmth, food and understanding in this difficult time.
Eddie Rodriguez Zachary , Louisiana, USA, November 6, 2012 8:53pm ET
Coming from Louisiana I've seen first hand what Hurricanes can do. Our prayers go out to all the victims of the storm. Also, glad you guys are back. Any news on Big Smoke New York?
David Savona November 14, 2012 11:27am ET
Thanks for the thoughts and well wishes. Big Smoke New York will go on as planned--Manhattan is back in business and all is well here.

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