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Greenburgh Businesses Set to Suffer With Irene

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — First an earthquake shook the ground in Greenburgh, now a hurricane threatens to bring heavy rain, wind and possible damage to the area by Sunday, putting the town’s residents, businesses and officials on alert.

Glenn Preiser owns a towing company on Nepperhan Avenue in Elmsford, a spot notorious for its floods. He said he will have to move 75 to 100 vehicles due to the approaching Hurricane Irene.

“We have to evacuate all the customers' cars and all my trucks and we have to get all the equipment out of here as well,” he said.

Those are hardly new procedures for Preiser, who is forced to go through them every time it rains heavily, losing $20,000 to $30,000 in revenue per day, he said.

But now he foresees even bigger problems.

“If we get more than two to three inches of water in a 24-hour period, we get flooded badly here,” he said. “They are expecting eight inches.”

Hurricane Irene was indeed upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane Wednesday, calling for a storm surge of nine to 12 feet and sustained winds of 111 to 130 mph. Damage in a Category 3 storm can be extensive on small buildings with low roofs, large trees and branches and can also cause power and water outages.

Another area of Greenburgh that traditionally suffers with floods is East Hartsdale Avenue, where five years ago a severe storm shut down several stores for months. The town’s engineering department is looking at the pipes there and advising landlords to clear obstructions from storm drains, Town Supervisor Paul Feiner wrote in an email.

On their side, residents are stocking up on water and food, as well as other items recommended for hurricanes. Thursday afternoon, at the Kmart on Greenburgh’s Crossroads Plaza, manager Jorge Suarez pointed to the depleted shelves of AA batteries, flashlights and propane fuel as a sign of people’s wariness.

“I don’t know how big it is going to be, but people are concerned about it,” he said.

Hartsdale resident Kendra Porter was one that left Kmart with four cases of bottled water.

“I am just preparing, so that I don’t have to go out during the weekend,” she said.

Having enough supplies for at least three days is one tip on a list of precautions the Greenburgh Police Department posted on its website.

“We are referring everyone to that website,” said Lt. Brian Ryan, adding that police will follow the storm progress day by day and, even though no specific plan has been implemented so far, the department does have a special squad trained to deal with emergency situations, such as people getting trapped in a car on a flooded street.

“We have resources on standby,” he said.

Have you had any experience with severe storms before? How are you preparing for Hurricane Irene? You can answer below or on Facebook .

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