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Chappaqua Businesses Recovering from Irene

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y.—Although most downtown Chappaqua businesses now have their power back, they have other problems on their hands. South Greeley Avenue flooded due to torrential rains Saturday and into Sunday, engulfing downtown Chappaqua in a foot of water. Now, businesses are coping with thousands of dollars in damages due to flooding of this low-lying area.

Squire’s Family Clothing and Footwear stationed in an older, 1940s building along South Greeley Avenue has been a frequent victim of flooding even after a heavy rainstorm. Squire’s received three feet of water in its store, needing the Chappaqua Fire Department to pump out the water Sunday night.

“We’re still assessing the damage. I put a claim in today.” Kuchner said. “We lifted everything and brought things upstairs in advance of Hurricane Irene. At least this one was forecast early. Hurricane Floyd came so unexpectedly we were devastated.”

Kuchner hasn’t slept in two days getting his store back in shape for business.

“We did lose some apparel but the loss is not as tremendous as Hurricane Floyd,” Kuchner said. “We’re going through it now. We’re taking inventory to find how much we were affected but we had hundreds of thousands in damage in Floyd. This will be relatively small in comparison.”

Across the street from Sauires, at Eye Gallery of Chappaqua, co-owner Chris Gentile estimated the damage to his store at $10,000.

“I had to tear up the carpet in the back, the floor is destroyed,” Gentile said. “This town is a disaster. They know it floods but the town doesn’t do anything about it.”

Gentile expressed his frustrations about the frequent flooding in downtown Chappaqua.

“The town knows it’s going to happen and all these store owners, we’re putting money back into our stores after the hurricane,” Gentile said. “What if there is another hurricane with a foot of water? Why would anyone want to have a business in town if the town does nothing about the flooding problem?”

Other downtown businesses, namely those with food, also suffered losses due to power outages Sunday and Monday.

“Everything went in the garbage. We threw it all out,” said Tony Veshta, owner of Mario’s Pizza. “It has a big effect…We probably threw out $15,000 worth of veal, chicken, cheeses, mozzarella. I don’t want to take a chance if someone gets sick.”

Between lost income and lost food, local pizzerias and delis lost thousands of dollars in the past few days without power.

“I emptied the whole case of desserts, threw out all my ice cream and prepared foods,” said Juan Rosas, owner of Villarina’s Deli. “It was probably $1,000 worth of food. I probably lost $1,500 worth of business yesterday.”

If you have pictures of the flooding on South Greeley Avenue, please send them to or share them on The Daily Chappaqua Facebook page.

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