Mobile unit aids Long Beach residents with claims

Long Beach City Hall is on Park Avenue.

Long Beach City Hall is on Park Avenue. The police station and fire department are attached to the building. (June 21, 2011) (Credit: T.C. McCarthy)

Long Beach residents having trouble contacting their insurance companies to make claims on damages from superstorm Sandy can get help Tuesday from a state agency.

The state Department of Financial Services set up a mobile registration unit for residents in front of city hall, and an official from the agency said almost any type of identification can help start the claim process.

George Haggerty, executive deputy superintendent with the agency, said residents can bring in a utility bill, driver's license or another form of identification that will help establish residency at an address.

Workers at the mobile unit, which is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., can use the documents to help residents get in touch with their agent or broker, said Haggerty, who lives in Northport.

Haggerty said the whole idea of the mobile unit is "kick-starting the insurance process."

Even those who lost all of their important documents because of the storm should respond, he said.

The unit is scheduled to be in Long Beach only on Tuesday, he said, but it could return. Before it stopped in Long Beach, the unit spent two days in Lindenhurst, where it averaged 75 to 100 people each day.

On Wednesday, the unit is scheduled to stop in either Island Park or Inwood.

Haggerty said insurance companies have been reaching out to customers; State Farm, for example, rented a small plane to fly over areas of Long Island, towing a banner with a phone number to call.

"We would like to see them commit more resources, but they are making a full-blown effort to help people," he said.

 

Power sighting

Electricity is coming back in spots. On Tuesday morning, as she waited in line at Gentle Brew Coffee Roasters, on East Park Avenue, Sue Sullivan, 26, noticed the building had power.

She looked up at the lights and said out loud to no one in particular: "Lights. Wow. I thought it was just the sun coming through the window. Wow. Lights."

Traffic lights also have begun blinking again in some intersections on Long Beach Road.

City Manager Jack Schnirman said that the Long Island Power Authority continues to restore electricity to areas. "The sewer system is fully operational, and drinking water has been tested and we are awaiting county health department approval" before notifying residents the water is drinkable, he said.

Tap water has passed two city tests but needs to pass another set of tests by Nassau County before it can be OKd for drinking, Schnirman said.

Schnirman also said residents should not put out any more debris in front of their homes until after a potential storm, a nor'easter forecast for Wednesday, passes through the area.

Even though collection teams are running 24/7, officials don't want debris piles sitting curbside to be rescattered because of the potential storm, he said.

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