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Croton Falls Outages Cause Commerce to Struggle, Flourish

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - The small shopping area at the Croton Falls Railroad Station is back in business. Most North Salem residents lost power, Internet and telephones. The shop owners lost business as well.

Russ Puckhaber, of Who’s Cooking, reported that he could not open on Monday but managed to open at noon on Tuesday. “But our phones were out and the Internet was out, so nobody realized we were open. Since we got our phones back, they’ve been ringing like crazy. People are buying a lot of food they can grill outside, like steaks. Also a lot of hot pre-made dinners.”

Who’s Cooking has no back-up generator, so there was a lot of spoilage. “Tuesday was a throwaway day: milk, beef, chicken -- cooked and uncooked -- all the sauces, all the salad dressings. But we’ve restocked. And I took a lot of pictures and made an itemized list for the insurance company.”

Joe Broccoli, who works at Hygrade, said most of the milk had to be thrown out. “Luckily, Boar’s Head took all their meats back.”

The manager of Anderson French , Mary Ann Mignogno, said, “Our whole business is on the phone. Our phones weren’t working and a lot of our customers still don’t have power. When I came to work, there were no messages waiting. That’s the first time that ever happened.”

Dawn Christopher, owner of Front Street Cellar, said that people bought a lot of wine in preparation for the storm. “We lost power but the weather was cooperative. Luckily we don’t sell a perishable product.”

Michael Giannone, the owner of Bella Ella's Pizzeria , said his business has been “busy-busy-busy.”

“I’m the only one who’s going to give you a really good report,” Giannone said. “My wife thought I was nuts buying a generator when I heard the storm was coming. I bought it on craigslist. I had to travel to East Haven, Connecticut on Friday morning to pick it up. On Monday we were the only one open.”

He said business on Monday was as good as a Friday, “and business on Tuesday was like a Friday too. A lot of people came from deep in Somers and deep in North Salem. If I didn’t have a generator I’d have been done for.”

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