The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

SEPTEMBER 2, 2011


Irene hits, and the library is SRO


Early last week, Tropical Storm Irene seemed a million miles away — just another tropical storm whipped up in the Caribbean, or someplace you’d expect it to be, like Cape Whatever, or St. Wherever.

Tuesday’s earthquake — rattling homes and offices throughout the region — was a portent that this time might be different, and by then there were alarming reports that the storm was heading up the Northeast’s I-95 corridor. By the end of the week, homeowners and businesses started to take inventory in earnest. Yet even as the days ticked away, the storm seemed distant, with damage likely in Washington, D.C., or lower Manhattan, Long Island and coastal Connecticut. Not here.

By late Friday, however, we were disillusioned of that. Preparations were ramped up and there was a run on food, water, batteries, flashlights and other emergency supplies.

Saturday night lived up to the hype. The winds picked up, with fierce, strong, devastating gusts. Over the night, we heard the whoosh of leaves, cracks of branches, howling, nervous dogs. Sirens sounded throughout the night from all directions. Rain was pelting, pounding against the roof and deck. Throughout town, trees snapped, power lines cracked, the lines crackling with dangerous energy. A nonstop storm added to the danger as ponds and mini-lakes formed on roads; tree branches, limbs and trunks blocked roads throughout the area.

Sunday morning we took tentative steps outside. We saw an unusual sight: neighbors standing, surveying the damages. The faces of neighbors we haven’t seen since the last storm. There was an exchange of information: Are you OK? Anyone hurt? Was your house hit? Were you flooded?

As we drove through town — there was only so far we could go — we saw firefighters huddled in front of the Katonah Fire Department, and as we drove up Route 117, we saw more firefighters in front of the Bedford Hills building. At the Hess station — miraculously Route 117 still was an oasis of power — we met up with a friend, pumping gas, who provided vivid descriptions of rowboating in Mount Kisco’s Leonard Park, and warned of trying to get over Guard Hill. Throughout the day, and into the next, we encountered neighbors in line at the grocery and hardware stores, waiting for coffee or a sandwich, all with stories to tell. The guard came down. Pizza Station was mobbed at lunchtime. There was so much traffic into McDonald’s that cars along Route 117 were slowed a mile back. With Metro-North tracks blocked north of White Plains, many commuters decided to remain in town. The Katonah Village Library, which opened at noon, became a social (media) meeting place, with a crowd there to use the Internet — seating was completely taken, with some scrunched against the wall, laptops chirping, or even perched in their cars as they Tweeted.

Lines to the diners — in Bedford Hills, and in Katonah — were out the door. In Bedford Village, where power remained scarce, there was a friendliness and camaraderie among those waiting for the distribution of dry ice. People exchanged war stories about the storm, and eagerly sought information from NYSEG and members of the Bedford Fire Department.

In Pound Ridge, residents expressed concern for the elderly and housebound. One family, for example, with their generator, dubbed their home “the YMCA,” as they offered showers for those who needed them. Blind Charlie’s broke records for lunches served, as neighbors gathered to discuss the falling trees and speculated when they would get electricity.

On Tuesday, the sun was shining and Katonah bustled in a way we haven’t seen. At Table Market in Bedford Hills, groups convened for lunch meetings and the wireless Internet. In Katonah, joggers and power-walkers took to the streets, along with bicyclists you’d normally see only on weekends. Downtown, there was no place to park. Friends offered friends the use of showers, baths, toilets, refrigerators, freezers, chain saws, hedgers, edgers and more. At The Record-Review, we had more drop-in visitors than the sheriff’s office in Mayberry, North Carolina.

As we read of fatalities elsewhere, entire towns swallowed by floods, homes carried away in the storm or residents stranded for days, we realized that we weren’t really suffering from much more than inconvenience. Not to be minimized: if your home was without power for days, like ours, it wasn’t pretty. And for those still without power, these words aren’t much comfort.

But in the words of one Katonah resident: “We weren’t being shot at.” And you know, making the library a hub of social interaction isn’t such a bad idea, even without a storm to send us there.

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

Editorial

NEWSSTAND LOCATIONS

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Perks – 197 Katonah Avenue    

  4. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  5. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  6. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

  2. Connie’s at Northern Westchester Hospital
    400 E. Main Street    


South Salem/Vista

  1. JNR Pharmacy – 222 Oakridge Commons;
    Route 123   


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

The Record-Review is available from our office at

264 Adams Street, Bedford Hills, NY

and at these locations:

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