Life is getting back to normal in south Queens nearly two months after Sandy struck the area.
On Wednesday, December 12, staffers from the Cross Bay Boulevard Rite Aid, along with State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, officially cut the ribbon to reopen the store, which saw significant flooding as water from Jamaica Bay poured into Howard Beach.
With CVS still out and Duane Reade closed, the pharmacy has become the only stop for medical needs in the area, said Rite Aid employee Kathy Russo.
“We were up [after the storm],” Russo said. “And now we’re full-force up and running
A small section of Rite Aid was gutted, repaired and reopened as a make-shift pharmacy for people with prescriptions. Running off a generator, the store serviced not just Howard Beach residents, but people from Rockaway and Breezy Point, along with relief workers from FEMA and other organizations.
Four weeks after the storm, Rite Aid was completely back up and running on Thursday, November 29. The store beat its planned deadline of reopening by Monday, December 3. Because Duane Reade has completely closed and it is unknown when CVS will reopen, Russo said Rite Aid has covered most of the business in Howard Beach — adding that it has been busy but manageable.
“Duane Reade closed up and we bought their prescriptions out,” she said. “This store is the only store for the community…you’ve got to come in here to buy anything.”