Barrington store reopens after storm - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Barrington store reopens after storm

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BARRINGTON, R.I. (WLNE) — It has been a week since strong winds knocked out power to thousands across Southern New England.

The impact of the strong winds hurt some local companies who not only lost several days of business, but in some cases, their food.

Last Sunday, like many businesses and homes in Rhode Island, Sowams Variety lost power and with it, all of its refrigerated and frozen foods.

It took five days for the business owner to get the shelves cleaned out and restocked. Now, the owner is hoping the community will come out and support him.

The welcome flag flew high again at Sowams Variety in Barrington Monday morning, and that was a relief for owner Muhanad Al-Chalabi.

“Everything is lost. Everything is gone,” explained Al-Chalabi.

Last week’s storm knocked out power to his store for two days and by the time it came back on, it was too late to save his perishables.

“Meats, prepared foods, ice cream, and dairy cheeses…four to five thousand dollars worth,” said Al-Chalabi.

The small business is a popular ice cream destination. However, last week, all of the  ice cream melted all over the floor. And the clean up took days.

“We had a cleaning company take care of things. We threw everything out and after that we had to restock everything,” said Al-Chalabi.

By Saturday, Al-Chalabi was able to reopen and his customers showed up in force.

“It was great. People were congratulating us for reopening and everybody was happy,” said Al-Chalabi.

Locals such as Jonathan Weinstein made a quick stop at Sowams Variety and he says he will make an extra effort to help his neighborhood store recover what they lost.

“They’re from the neighborhood [and] they’re really good people. We’re trying to keep them going over here. I’d love to see people in the town make a special effort, maybe this month, to come and shop here to help support them,” said Weinstein.

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