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Local Businesses Talk Losses, Protection after Hurricane Sandy

At a recent meeting, the Wyckoff Chamber of Commerce discussed how to better communication between the township, businesses and residents.

Hurricane Sandy battered Wyckoff just a few weeks ago, but the aftermath of the storm still lingers. The storm left township businesses without power, and most importantly, customers.

 “There was no business," said Michael Mandara, owner of the newly opened Boulder Run restaurant Pizzeria Mandara. "We were closed from that Monday [Oct. 29] to the following Monday night."

"Everything needed to be thrown out and cleaned up," he said. "[The restaurant] had to be sterilized and re-inspected by the health department.”

Jay Vidockler, Wyckoff Chamber of Commerce president and owner of Chocolate Etc. said, “It was very bad. We all lost a week of solid business where no one was really open, and when I finally did open a lot of the town was still without power.”

The storm took a substantial toll on Vidockler’s own business.

When he finally did re-open people weren’t thinking about chocolate, Vidockler said, "and I personally lost Halloween, which is a very important holiday.” 

Blue Moon's owner Howie Felixbrod said, "anything perishable we had to get rid of and it costs a lot of money.”

None of the business owners would specify the exact amount of their losses. 

When questioned on whether he thought Sandy was a devastation to local restaurants, Felixbrod was quick to agree.

“We are looking into doing a whole store generator big enough to run the entire restaurant,” Felixbrod said. 

Mandara would also be considering a generator, but at a later date.

“We had spoken about it originally, but it is a very high cost because of the apartments above us... but down the road it is something we’re going to look into.”

While installing generators will help keep businesses open in the case of future outages, there is still concern about being able to reach residents who do not have power.

At the Nov. 15 Wyckoff Chamber of Commerce meeting, members and township officials discussed the outcome of the hurricane and how to better prepare for future storms.

“What came out of the meeting was better communications," Vidockler said. "[Wyckoff] wants to develop a system in which residents and businesses are communicating better.”

According to the Wyckoff Chamber website, “the township implemented an emergency notification system whereby you register your email at www.wyckoff-nj.com and receive important town updates as well as emergency information.”

Wyckoff businesses and residents alike are hopeful that this new system will better prepare the town in the case of another emergency. 

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