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The day after flooding from Tropical Storm Irene, the lower level of The Pitcher Inn in Warren Village “looked like the lower level of the Titanic,” the inn’s general manager Ari Sadri said, as everything—including the kitchen, dry storage area, commercial laundry machines, lighting, heat and hot water systems—was buried under three feet of water, silt and debris.
In total, the building sustained $2.5 million worth of damage—including $250,000 worth of fine wine—but despite all of the damages, “we were really lucky,” Sadri said. Nothing was destroyed that couldn’t be replaced and “we were insured,” he said.
But even more importantly, according to Sadri, The Pitcher Inn benefited from the support of the surrounding community, as 40 people arrived at the inn the day after the flood to help clean up.
While Sadri had always felt fortunate to do business in such a small town, “to see people actually show up was a really humbling experience,” he said, as volunteers ended up carrying six and one-half dump truck loads of debris out of the basement in that first day alone. Sadri also cited the “heroic efforts” of local contractors, who worked tirelessly to help the inn re-open in only three and a half weeks’ time.
Now, one year after the flood, the inn is back up and running, despite some outstanding landscaping work. “For the most part, we’re largely whole again,” Sadri said, and they couldn’t have done it without such tremendous local support.