When John Leadbetter, the assistant manager at Verizon on Rockaway Turnpike in Cedarhurst, left the store on Oct. 29, eight to 12 inches of water were already pooling around the building.
‚ÄúThe water came up over the curb and we had four feet of water in the store,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúThe whole store was gutted and everything was replaced.‚ÄĚ
Though Verizon was able to reopen two weeks after Hurricane Sandy, other businesses along Rockaway Turnpike were not as lucky. McDonald‚Äôs, Taco Bell, Wendy‚Äôs and 7-Eleven are just some of the businesses that have yet to reopen their doors. ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt know what‚Äôs taking them so long,‚ÄĚ Leadbetter said of neighboring businesses that haven‚Äôt reopened.
Talks are ongoing between and a local developer and the building‚Äôs landlord to reopen the Rockaway Turnpike store, according to Kitty Munger, a spokeswoman for Wendy‚Äôs.
Next door to Verizon, at Lawrence Unisex Hair Salon, hairdresser Yuri Iskhaov said the salon was also closed for two weeks after Hurricane Sandy dumped three feet of water into the store. ‚ÄúEverything had to be replaced,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre still getting back to normal.‚ÄĚ
Iskhaov said Rockaway Turnpike generated more customer traffic before Sandy and believes the businesses that remain closed have temporarily changed the area. ‚ÄúI do feel the impact on our business,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI hope it gets back to normal as soon as possible.‚ÄĚ
Rockaway Turnpike, according to Leadbetter, had flooding issues prior to the hurricane during heavy rainstorms. ‚ÄúThe intersection always floods,‚ÄĚ he said of Peninsula Boulevard and Rockaway Turnpike. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm not an engineer but I think there‚Äôs too much water for the sewer to handle. Something should be done about it.‚ÄĚ
Down the street at 5 Towns Mini Golf & Batting, located at 570 Rockaway Turnpike, manager John Fernandez said the streets drain during a rainstorm. ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs no puddle build-up around here,‚ÄĚ he said.
According to Fernandez, 5 Towns Mini Golf & Batting suffered four feet of water and had to replace the batting machines, mini-golf area and arcade games. ‚ÄúWe were fine during Hurricane Irene; we opened the next day,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúBut everything aligned perfectly for this storm,‚ÄĚ Fernandez added, alluding to the amount of flooding generated by Sandy.
Subway Manager Usman Eli said the sandwich shop was closed for four months after Hurricane Sandy and said he‚Äôs seen contractors working next door at the 7-Eleven. ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt know when it will open but they‚Äôve been working on it for a while,‚ÄĚ he said of 7-Eleven. ‚ÄúI hope this area gets better; it still needs more time.‚ÄĚ
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