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.
â€śThe water came up over the curb and we had four feet of water in the store,â€ť he said. â€śThe whole store was gutted and everything was replaced.â€ť
Though Verizon was able to reopen two weeks after Hurricane Sandy, other businesses along Rockaway Turnpike were not as lucky. McDonaldâ€™s, Taco Bell, Wendyâ€™s and 7-Eleven are just some of the businesses that have yet to reopen their doors. â€śI donâ€™t know whatâ€™s taking them so long,â€ť Leadbetter said of neighboring businesses that havenâ€™t reopened.
Talks are ongoing between and a local developer and the buildingâ€™s landlord to reopen the Rockaway Turnpike store, according to Kitty Munger, a spokeswoman for Wendyâ€™s.
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. â€śEverything had to be replaced,â€ť he said. â€śWeâ€™re still getting back to normal.â€ť
Iskhaov said Rockaway Turnpike generated more customer traffic before Sandy and believes the businesses that remain closed have temporarily changed the area. â€śI do feel the impact on our business,â€ť he said. â€śI hope it gets back to normal as soon as possible.â€ť
Rockaway Turnpike, according to Leadbetter, had flooding issues prior to the hurricane during heavy rainstorms. â€śThe intersection always floods,â€ť he said of Peninsula Boulevard and Rockaway Turnpike. â€śIâ€™m not an engineer but I think thereâ€™s too much water for the sewer to handle. Something should be done about it.â€ť
Down the street at 5 Towns Mini Golf & Batting, located at 570 Rockaway Turnpike, manager John Fernandez said the streets drain during a rainstorm. â€śThereâ€™s no puddle build-up around here,â€ť 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. â€śWe were fine during Hurricane Irene; we opened the next day,â€ť he said. â€śBut everything aligned perfectly for this storm,â€ť 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 heâ€™s seen contractors working next door at the 7-Eleven. â€śI donâ€™t know when it will open but theyâ€™ve been working on it for a while,â€ť he said of 7-Eleven. â€śI hope this area gets better; it still needs more time.â€ť
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