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Ossining's Boathouse Survives Irene, Reopens

OSSINING, N.Y. – When Hurricane Irene blew through the Westchester region last year, bringing three feet of water into Ossining’s Boathouse Restaurant , co-owner Lori Polidoro thought the worst.

“I thought this whole building was going to float away,” Polidoro said. “I really did think we were done. This is all we have and it would’ve meant us not only being out of business but going bankrupt.”

As Polidoro looked around the newly repaired restaurant off of the Hudson River on Friday, she couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief. She and fellow co-owners Scott London and Val Polidoro recently spent roughly $20,000 repairing the flood damage.

London said he was thankful they had advanced warning and were able to take a few emergency steps in the days leading up to the storm.

“We completely emptied the restaurant to save it,” London said. “All that was left was the shell of the building. We didn’t know what was going to happen but we knew it wasn’t going to be good.”

The restaurant filled up with water as Hurricane Irene moved in, flooding much of the waterfront area in a day. But the water eventually subsided and the building remained. In the following days, a dozen employees with the restaurant came in to help clean out the area. But water damage to the building’s walls needed further repairs, London said.

“We were open five days after it flooded and that was pretty great,” London said. “But the damage was pretty bad to the walls and it needed a lot of work. So we closed down for about two weeks to get us back up and running again.”

The Boathouse Restaurant is once again open for business. Spending the money for repair work was difficult, Polidoro said, but it’s a far cry from how she felt when they were clearing out the restaurant just days before Irene hit.

“I thought when we were cleaning it out that it was the last time I was going to see it above the water,” Polidoro said. “So of course I’m relieved that we’re open again because I didn’t think that would be an option.”

While she’s not certain how far above the water the restaurant sits, Polidoro said she’s positive about the chances of the restaurant going through another flood.

“This place will definitely flood again,” Polidoro said. “It’s only a question of when.”

Brewster resident Randy Adler, who works in Ossining, said he was concerned last year that his favorite restaurant wouldn’t make it through the storm. But he said he loved the restaurant’s location and was relieved Thursday to once again enjoy a meal inside The Boathouse.

“I’m very happy they’re back,” Adler said. “The food is great and you can’t beat this view.”

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