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Relieved residents in Dutchess County

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Albany/HV: Relieved residents in Dutchess County
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With reports of widespread damage and storm related deaths across the state, Dutchess County residents feel relieved to have missed the brunt of Sandy. YNN's John Wagner has the story.

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- The Ice House restaurant opened in September, on dry ground. It's Poughkeepsie's only restaurant in Waryas Park and the only to face major flooding.

"We designed the restaurant with a flood in mind, not this heavy of a flood, but we designed the restaurant with a flood in mind," said Tom Rolston, one of the restaurant's co-owners.

A full scale effort began to keep the brand new restaurant, looking spotless, but not much could be done against a record breaking Hudson River surging more than nine feet above normal tide.

"Got ready a few days ahead of time, raised up a lot of kitchen equipment. I mean, we were prepared the most we could be," said Michael Lund, another co-owner at the Ice House.

Flooding may have damaged refrigerators and kitchen equipment, but it's already drying out. County officials say numerous trees and power lines went down but feel relieved the damage is nowhere near as bad as with Irene and Lee.

"We didn't see the widespread damage that we could have, although there are still far too many who are dealing with specific concerns," said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.

"We're very lucky here in the City of Poughkeepsie not to deal with devastating effects of the past," said City of Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik.

Despite four to five feet of water flowing inside the restaurant during the overnight high tide, even at the Ice House, you get the feeling that Dutchess County really dodged a bullet.

"Coolers were all upside down, floating. The stalls were all under water," said Rolston. "Everything was under water, but we're cleaning it up right now. We'll be back in business tomorrow night."

Locals stream to the Hudson to check out the surge while they still can, with a sense of relief.

"Everything's okay, we're lucky, but down there in New York, I look at the TV today, I say look at the poor people," said Poughkeepsie resident John Rossi.

"It could have been a lot worse for us," continued Lund. "We just pray for everyone that caught a disaster."

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