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It's Hit or Miss in Downtown Westport for Irene

WESTPORT, Conn. – Most stores along Westport's Main Street were back to business as usual Tuesday. But a few shops, including the children's clothing store Janie and Jack, had not fully recovered from Tropical Storm Irene, which hit the town Sunday.

"Our problem is, we have no telephone service. And without that, we can't process credit cards," assistant manager Judy Tesla said. "We'll open as soon as the telephone service is restored, but I don't know when that will be."

Outside of not having phone service, Tesla said the store, overall, fared well during the storm. The front rug will have to be replaced, as well as some floor tiles in the back. But no major flood damage occurred to the store's interior or its inventory.

Tesla credits the lack of damage to the precautions taken. "We took the storm seriously," she said. "We boarded the windows, placed sandbags outside the store and moved our products up to higher ground."

Like at Janie and Jack, the co-owners of the Brownstone prepared by placing sandbags out front, removing the most valuable inventory from the store and moving the display cases to the back. Although some water did creep inside the store, co-owner Victoria Schallert said they just had a lot of cleaning to do after the flooding.

"We had to do the cleaning anyway," Schallert said light-heartedly, referring to switching out spring merchandise for fall goods. "But we were really lucky."

Other stores, such as the woman's clothing store Chico's, didn't fare as well. A store employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said 18 inches of water got inside the store after the Saugatuck River overflowed its banks Sunday. As a result, the shop's wood floors were heavily damaged.

The store, which had packed up its entire inventory, will undergo restoration work. The employee said Chico's will reopen as soon as possible, though she didn't have an estimate as to how long the work would take.

Other stores, such as the recently opened Theory and Pottery Barn, which renovated its store earlier this year, are also closed until further notice.

At BCBG Max Azria, managers Cindy and Tina said they hoped to have the shop open by Thursday or Friday. On Tuesday, the women were busy cleaning up the basement, which was "totally flooded" during the storm. A cleaning crew is slated to come in Wednesday, they said.

Have you ever seen as much flooding in downtown Westport as there was Sunday?

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