NEW YORK - A woman who thought she had lost her wedding dress when Superstorm Sandy destroyed her local dry cleaner got an unexpected anniversary gift: her gown, safe and sound.
Nicole Pagliaro had brought the fitted gown with one sparkly strap in for cleaning after her July 29, 2012, wedding. She had yet to pick it up when Superstorm Sandy hit, swamping the dry cleaner in Staten Island.
Some days later, her husband went by and saw the damage to the store.
"My husband came home and he showed me pictures," Pagliaro, a registered nurse said Tuesday, adding, "I started crying."
Unbeknownst to her, the store owner had reopened in a new location some time later.
But recently, she took a different route to work. While stopped at a light, "I just turned to my right, and I look and there's a drycleaner ... and in the window, there's my dress," Pagliaro said.
She still had the ticket and went into the store. While there, she saw the owner, who remembered her but told her his records had been destroyed and he'd had no way of getting in touch with her.
Pagliaro was picking it up on Tuesday, her second wedding anniversary. She wants her daughter, now 18 months old, to wear the dress on her wedding day.
"Even if the dress sits in my attic for 20 years, if my daughter even has a hint of wanting to wear it, at least I have it," she said. "It's my keepsake, everybody wants to keep their wedding dress."