POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – The Pound Ridge business district along Westchester Avenue in Scott’s Corner gave no quarter when matched against Hurricane Irene.
Some merchants reported being without power for only one day, while others say it came back on within 10 to 12 hours. All agree that the lights went out early Sunday morning when the storm was at its most intense.
Proprietors speculated about how they were so lucky – some noting that they were located close to the firehouse and ambulance corps and thus prioritized, while others say that some of the power lines were buried underground back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, an aesthetic consideration by then-Supervisor Fred Zwick.
“We had to close on Sunday and we lost our salads, but that was just about it,” said Sal Genite, manager of Panella’s Italian deli. “Our cold cuts were still good and everything else was in the freezer. We did lose some chicken cutlets, but nothing major.”
Gentile admitted that owners and staff were worried as Irene headed their way.
“This is how we make our money,” he said. “If we had been without power for one more day, we would have lost everything. We were very lucky.”
Adam Free, proprietor of Plum Plums cheese store, said he was able to sell off most of his stock on Saturday before the storm hit.
“We sold out just about everything,” he said. “People were having hurricane parties, if you can believe it, and thought they'd just relax and eat some cheese and drink some wine, which they were getting from [the wine store] across the street. I had to throw some stuff out, but it was very minimal. We are dealing with dairy products, so I didn’t want take any chances. We lost about $200 or $300 worth of product.”
The owners of Blind Charlie’s restaurant say Irene barely affected it.
“Blind Charlie’s never missed a beat,” said Lisa Fortin, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Billy. “We didn’t open it on Sunday, so we only missed the one day.”
The Fortins also own Scotts Corner Market.
“The market was without power for about 10 or 12 hours, if that,” Fortin said. “And that was good because the town volunteers were coming to get eggs and bacon and ice for the fire department, police department and maintenance workers.”
Fortin said the stored was open on Sunday, but eventually closed at 4 p.m. simply because customers couldn’t get through because of all the blocked roads.
“Things are slowly getting back to normal,” Fortin said. “But there are still a lot of people without power and they’re coming in for things like ice and water – and we are still selling a lot of batteries. I feel so bad for these people.”
Joan Silbersher, owner of Antiques & Tools of Business & Kitchen, didn’t have to worry about perishables, but did have worry about the breakable inventory displayed outside her store.
“I took all the glass items and placed them on the ground and nothing broke,” she said. “Can you believe it?”
A tree came down behind the business and was subsequently cut up, but the remnants were left blocking her parking lot. The town eventually removed the wood for her.
“The tree broke the telephone line and we are still without telephone service,” she said. “We can’t use the credit card machine. So I take down the card number and will run it through when the service is back up. Plus, we can always take cash and checks.
“But in the end, we were minimally affected. We were lucky.”