NYC woman finds wedding dress lost after Sandy

July 29, 2014 - 7:04 PM
Sandy Wedding Dress

In this July 28, 2014 photo, Michael, left, and Nicole Pagliaro pose with her wedding dress at the South Beach Dry Cleaners with owner Hector Pacheco in the Staten Island borough of New York where Nicole Pagliaro discovered the shop displaying her dress long after assuming it had been lost to Superstorm Sandy. The shop she brought it to for cleaning was destroyed by the storm, but two weeks ago Pagliaro took a different route to work and spotted it in the window of the dry cleaner’s new store. (AP Photo/Staten Island Advance, Hilton Flores)

NEW YORK (AP) — 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."