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Merrick Businesses Continue to Rebuild After Sandy

(Credit: Chris Boyle)
(Credit: Chris Boyle)
Editor's Note: This article was written and submitted by Chris Boyle.

Despite the fact that Hurricane Sandy happened more than a month ago, many local businesses are still feeling the sting.

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The merchants of the Merrick Galleria, a strip mall located on Merrick Road, were among the hardest-hit by Sandy due to their proximity to the water. Jim, manager of Gold Standard Jewelry and Gold Buyers, said his store is still undergoing repairs due to the effects of flooding.

“We did have power outage for an entire week...a full seven days,” Jim said. “Sea water was inside the store. It came all the way into the entire store. I had carpet in here, so they had to come and tear that out and they’re switching me to a wood floor now. They’re actually doing the construction right now, and we should be back at 100 percent very soon”

Alicia, owner of Studio Envy Hair Design, also situated in the Merrick Galleria, said her salon also suffered from electrical outages and flooding.

“I was closed for a week and a half without power due to the storm,” Alicia said. “I had some flooding and sand in here. The water went all the way to the back of the store. We had to clean everything out and replace some molding. But we’re up and running now so I can’t complain.”

Kiddsmiles, a pediatric dentist located on the far end of the Merrick Galleria, appeared to bear the brunt of the damage brought about by the powerful superstorm, according to Kaitlyn Bedell, the office’s patient coordinator.

“We were out of power a whole week, and the whole office was flooded with about seven inches of water,” Bedell said. “All the molding on the sides of the walls were falling off and we had a lot of computer damage. We had to get new towers and modems. Also, our phones were down, and we had to replace them. Plus, we have a rocket ship on our reception area, and had to replace a lot of the electronics in it because they were completely fried. Plus, in our Manhasset office, the hot water heater exploded, and the whole entire room had to be gutted.”

Bedell said that quick thinking on the part of office staff prevented the damage from being too severe, however.

“Thank goodness that the girls in the back were smart enough to lift the foot pedals that operate the dental instruments off the floor, so the main, big equipment was not damaged,” she said. “But everything is working now. Probably within the first two or three weeks after the storm, we were back up and running.”

However, Sandy didn’t just wreak havoc with Merrick businesses situated near the water. Swirlz World, a frozen yogurt shop on Merrick Avenue, experienced more than their fair share of problems, according to owner Jordan Eddi.

“We were unfortunately shut down for 18 days due to Hurricane Sandy,” Eddi said. “There was one phase that out on our three-phase panel, which prevented us from operating the machines because they need full power to work. With it, the machines are rendered useless.”

Eddi said that the woes of Swirlz World didn’t end when the lights finally came back on.

“We had damage to the machines as a result of all the electrical surges that were occurring,” he said. “They were bad enough to cause several thousand dollars in damage to the equipment. It also prevented us from getting open as fast as we would have liked to because we couldn’t access the situation until after power was fully restored. Then we started checking the systems and realized we had some other major issues.”

But, like many merchants in the Merrick area, Eddi said that his establishment had weathered the worst Sandy had to offer, and was ready to get back to business as usual.

“We are now back to 100 percent,” Eddi added. “We’re still having issues with some of the machines, and we’re trying to resolve them, but we’re here and ready to serve the community once again.”

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