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In Mystic, 'The green monster was killed by Sandy'

By Greg Smith

Publication: theday.com

Published October 30. 2012 3:00PM   Updated October 30. 2012 8:49PM

Mystic - Winds from Hurricane Sandy knocked down a landmark of sorts in historic downtown Mystic.

The green wall, a wooden fence that had blocked the view of the remains of the former Central Hall block building, fell sometime Monday night. The wall had stood for nearly a decade and was erected shortly after a 2000 fire burned down the row of shops there.

Rod DesMarais, a partner in the group planning to rebuild at the site, joined work crews Tuesday to replace the wooden fence with a chain link fence.

"It came down – but not in the way we wanted it to go," DesMarais said. "The green monster was killed by Sandy."

DesMarais said he was in the downtown area at Monday night's high tide and watched as water from the Mystic River rose up to his knees on West Main Street.

"It came in, and an hour later went back out," DesMarais said. "Considering what (Sandy) could have been, the damage could have been a lot worse."

It's the sentiment expressed by some downtown Mystic shop owners who began to clean up on Tuesday after the water receded.

Sandy brought historic high tides to the area, in some cases topping sandbags that blocked store entrances.

All along West Main Street, shop owners on Tuesday removed plywood and plastic from storefronts, carrying armloads of merchandise into the midday sun to dry out.

State and Elizabeth Lawrence, owners of Clad In, a clothing and shoe shop at 24 W. Main St., said the water did creep over some of the sandbags at the entrance, but there was no damage. All his goods had been moved to the safety of the second floor.

He said he was likewise lucky that his shop on Water Street in Stonington borough and others in Westerly and Providence were not damaged.

"As soon as the power comes back on, we'll be back up," Lawrence said.

At A Taste of New England, a gourmet food and candy shop at 12 Steamboat Wharf, owner Frances Burton said she had moved her wares to higher shelves.

Aside from some wet furniture and rugs, she said everything was safe.

"We put everything up," she said. "We've been blessed. With this storm, things could have been a lot worse. Who can complain?"

Burton said cleaning crews were expected to arrive Wednesday morning and she planned to be back in business shortly thereafter.

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