Something good will come out of Saturday’s heavy rainfall that deluged Northport Village, affecting several shops on Main Street.
The owner of specialty toy store Einstein’s Attic, who said dozens of toys at her shop got wet after water rushed into the store during the downpour, plans to donate those toys to charity this holiday season.
The toys — Barbie Dream Houses, Le Toy Van items, Hot Wheels cars and more — are on the list, said owner Lori Badanes.
“The toys are fine but we can’t sell them because the boxes are damaged,” said Badanes, who has owned the store for 10 years.
Badanes said with supply chain issues delaying orders across the country, she had already completed and taken delivery of toys for the upcoming holiday season.
“Our store is stock full and our back storage room is full,” she said. “We’ve had to become hoarders because we were afraid we wouldn’t be able to get [toys] in time for the holidays.”
Around noon on Saturday between 1½ and 2 inches of rain fell as heavy rains moved through parts of northern Nassau and Suffolk counties, including Huntington, Commack and Smithtown.
The National Weather Service had issued a flood advisory across the Island, which expired by early afternoon Saturday.
Dave Radell, a meteorologist with the weather service, said Monday, “We have not heard of a flash flood in Northport on Saturday,” adding, “But we did have severe weather around all during the day on Saturday.”
He said any thunderstorms as a result of the severe weather could have produced excessive rainfall that could have led to localized flooding.
Badanes said when the water swept through the village it rushed in through her store's front and rear entrances.
“It went right into our storage area and anything that was sitting on the ground was flooded,” she said.
She said the toys that got wet include those that were preassembled and in cellophane, and those in boxes. She said the toys are drying out at her house and being checked to make sure they are not damaged or dirty.
Badanes said she has already contacted local preschools and charities with whom she normally works. They have asked her to hold the donations until holiday toy drives, Badanes said.
“I guess that’s when the toys are needed the most,” she said. “It’s big items. I guess that’s what makes it different this year. We always do our part but it wouldn’t be big items like doll houses and big shopping carts and cars.”
She said they were still tallying the dollar amount of the damaged items.
Janet Hoeft, president of the Northport Chamber of Commerce, said village trustees, the chamber and residents have worked on flooding issues for years.
“All of Main Street was flooded. The water was rushing down over the sidewalk,” Hoeft said. “Northport has worked on trying to get the roads and drains ready for this, but when you get such intense rains it’s like hopeless.”