Long Beach officials update city's condition

Michigan Street in Long Beach after superstorm Sandy. Michigan Street in Long Beach after superstorm Sandy. (Nov. 1, 2012) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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Long Beach officials on Friday issued a status report on the city's storm recovery efforts and gave out a list of health and safety recommendations.

"Long Beach's recovery continues. Seventy-two hours after the storm, roads are open, sanitation services are restored and help has arrived," the city's government said in a written update.

"Our critical priorities are the 24/7 effort to restore water and sewer, as soon as possible," the city said. "We continue to receive extraordinary assistance, resources and personnel."

City Manager Jack Schnirman said two temporary mobile hospitals "are on their way," with their locations to be determined.

"A dozen to two dozen ambulances are onsite every day covering Long Beach," he said.

The hope is to have the water system up and running early next week, he said. Already the city has started hydrant flushing.

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Garbage service for bagged garbage has been restored, following the regular schedule, he said. Pick-up for non-bagged garbage, such as soggy furniture and carpeting, will be seven days a week, he said.

"We have not had reports of looting," Schnirman said. "We have made several arrests for breaking the curfew," and "otherwise the streets are quiet and empty at night."

The city also announced the City of Long Beach Relief, a fund to which people can donate money, as well as food, clothing and equipment. Donations can be made at city hall, 1 West Chester St.

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are assessing the city's condition and trying to ensure the safety of the populace.

Hydrant flushing has begun, and water could be turned back on by early next week.

The Long Island Power Authority is working to restore electricity. It is "nearing completion of the assessment" and is cooperating with the city.

Building inspectors will visit every residence in the city, grading homes according to a three-level color-keyed scale. Homes graded green are OK; homes graded yellow won't have power restored until LIPA makes repairs; and severely damaged homes are graded red and condemned.

What Long Beach residents can do:

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FEMA: file claims online at fema.gov; in person at Nassau Community College in Uniondale or by phone at 770-216-3335 or 800-621-3362.

Water: Don't turn on faucets or hoses -- that would slow repair efforts. And don't pump if you just have ground water; you will waste your gas.

Public safety: Observe the city's strict curfew, in effect from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. to protect residents' safety.

Home heating safety: Avoid carbon-monoxide poisoning by venting fumes for any kerosene or propane-fueled auxiliary heater.

Food and water: Emergency meals and water are available daily, beginning at 8 a.m., at the East School, on Neptune Boulevard, and the West School, on Maryland Avenue.

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Sanitation: Put out your bagged garbage according to the city's regular sanitation schedule.

Debris: Put it out for pickup 7 days a week.

Help a neighbor: Tell friends and neighbors about the information in this Long Beach city alert.

With Patricia Kitchen

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