After a weekend of bracing for disaster, Smithville businesses —including those at — experienced very little damage in the throes of Hurricane Irene and are back to being fully operational.
While the sun began to poke through auspiciously Sunday afternoon, business owners in the Village Greene waited until Monday morning, Aug. 29 to reopen, in accordance with State of Emergency regulations.
Many said they were surprised to find heavy traffic coming through their shops on Monday morning.
People probably have “cabin fever,” said Boutique co-owner, Lucy Spagnola, explaining that her store had been busier than a typical Monday morning.
“We lost a few days but we’re back in the swing of things,” concurred Mike Spagnola, co-owner of Underground.
“I’m assuming people are looking for something to do,” said a relieved Kelly Coleman, the owner of Ireland and Old Lace.
“[The hurricane] didn’t really affect us here,” she said, explaining, that one of the main concerns of shop owners in the Historic Village was the age of some of the buildings.
Tracy Walsh, the inn keeper at the , said she was pleased with how efficiently the staff and other shop owners in the Village Greene prepared for the storm.
It’s great that “people listened,” she said. “I’m so happy that people are safe and the damage is minimal.
“I’m thrilled with mother nature. I’m [also] impressed with my community.”
Outside of the Village Green, other businesses cranked back to life on Monday, as well.
For the owner of , Ryan Ojeda, it was business as usual.
“We do have a committed clientele,” he said, so despite the stressful weekend, it’s pretty much back to “same old.”
Ojeda said he took all of the preparatory measures for the storm —taping the windows, using sandbags, etc— however, experienced no damages over the weekend.
Barbara Wells, the manager and co-owner of in Smithville, was also relieved to find no damages in her store.
She prepared and the storm wasn’t as bad as expected. But, she said, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.”