Talking About Sandy, Remembering Irene

How would you compare the two storms?


Richie Vetrano, owner of Valentino's Italian Restaurant, said that although he had minimal losses after Tropical Storm Irene last year, the storm taught him some lessons he put into practice when he heard about Hurricane Sandy.

"We were definitely prepared," he said of his extra generator and food inventory.

Vetrano purchased an extra generator for Hurricane Sandy but as it turned out, didn't really need it. While 90 percent of the town was cut off from power for the majority of the week after the storm, the main businesses centers of Ledyard and Gales Ferry remained online.

Vetrano said he checked in on the restaurant every couple of hours during the storm and may have lost power for 30 mins. Whereas last year, he was running off a generator for six days, had to throw out his seafood and shellfish inventory and made two trips a day to his restaurant in Westerly for pizza dough and ingredients.

He said it was pretty tough working around the coolers he had set up and the decreased electricity. He said he only sold pizza in order to conserve electricity.

"We almost ran out of cheese last year," he said. "We were so lucky this year."

This week, Vetrano was behind the counter throwing dough and taking orders alongside his staff. As he hustled to tune into the Cartoon Network for a young customer, he took special requests from customers hungry for a hot meal and a warm place to sit.

"You want extra clams on that," he asked one customer craving clams in white sauce on linguine. "I'll make it special for you."

Star Wood Market is another business that completely escaped the predicted disaster that was Hurricane Sandy. Last year, owner Stephen Wood said the store threw out thousands of dollars worth of inventory after being on a generator for six days last year.

the diner by Holdridge's, was also on generator power for a few days last year after Irene but this year, they didn't lose power and customers were grateful.

"We've been doing weekend numbers this week," said head cook Troy Linsley. "We're a lot busier than normal."

Linsley said the restaurant bought an extra generator for Hurricane Sandy but never had to use it.

"We ran out of breakfast food before 11 a.m.," he said of the restaurant that is supposed to serve breakfast until closing at 2 p.m. "We were slam packed all day."

Carrie Cochran November 03, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Hi, Jessica it's Carrie from A. Jo's, I will be at the restaurant on Tuesday if you would like to talk.
Cindy Eilenberger November 03, 2012 at 02:38 PM
For us it was easier. Our power came back on in 4 days instead of 7. Last year we lost our beloved apple tree in our front yard and this year only the top out of a pine tree. It was easier to find supplies too since so many businesses didn't lose power. Last year I drove all over Groton trying to just find ice as Ledyard business had no power. This year our hard to find item was lantern wicks. After checking at 5 places we gave up. But, Holdridges had them on order so they came through for us! Also, since the Ledyard library had power it was an easy place to go for Internet and charging.


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