When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in the fall of 2012, a Staten Island woman who had her wedding dress at a local dry cleaners figured her gown was gone — the store was destroyed and has been closed for almost two years. But it turns out the only thing in the store that survived the storm was her dress — which she spotted in the window of the store when it finally reopened — in a new location.
It’s a good thing she still has the ticket for her dress, even though she never thought she’d see it again: The woman tells the Staten Island Advance that she’d given up hope on reuniting with the dress she’d worn at her wedding reception, which she dropped off in August 2012 to get preserved. She was too busy to pick up when it would be ready, three weeks to a month after.
“I was pregnant, and we were moving,” she explained.
When Hurricane Sandy hit in October, the store was flooded in five feet of water, destroying all the clothing inside except for that dress, which floated on top of the water in a secure box.
But when the woman’s husband drove by the business in the days after the storm, all he saw was the devastation. He told her the bad news, and says she started crying but saved her ticket anyway.
The shop stayed close, with no phone number or sign to tell customers what had happened. It finally reopened at a new location in February this year under the same name.
Two weeks ago, the woman spotted her gown on display while her husband was driving her to the train in Brooklyn early one morning.
“I saw my dress in the window” of the new dry cleaning store, she said, adding that they never drive that way and were lucky there were no gates on the closed store’s windows. “I knew it was my dress.”
The next day she stopped by the store and told the clerk the dress in the window was hers — and handed over her ticket.
When she met with the owner, “he remembered me and gave me a big hug,” and she finally went home with her dress, which she now says she wants her daughter to wear one day.
Wedding dress that survived Hurricane Sandy returned to owner [Staten Island Advance]