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Community news roundup: FEMA, lake cleanup, hurricane class

FEMA to fund school rebuilding project

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will give $3.1 million to the Long Beach school district to pay for the rebuilding of West Elementary School, one of the Long Island schools hit hardest by superstorm Sandy.

FEMA notified Congress about the rebuilding money yesterday, an agency spokesman said.

The money will be used to pay for “the removal of accumulated debris and flood remediation necessary to restore the building to its pre-disaster design,” according to FEMA documents.

West Elementary School, one of four elementary schools in the 4,000-student district, had three feet of flooding from Sandy. It was the most damaged school in the district; its students attended a crowded Lindell Elementary School last year.

The total cost of repairing all of Long Beach’s schools is expected to be $54 million, which will be offset by FEMA aid, schools Superintendent David Weiss said.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the FEMA funds will help rebuild West Elementary School, which lost books, computers and desks in addition to sustaining damage to its boilers, electrical and heating systems, and flooring. Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) announced the award yesterday.

“After superstorm Sandy hit Long Island’s coast, Long Beach and its city schools were seriously damaged and these funds will reimburse the cost of repairs to West Elementary School,” Schumer said in a statement.
— Patrick Whittle 


Effort to clear water chestnuts from lake

Nassau County officials and employees will join with volunteers Saturday to remove invasive water chestnut plants from Massapequa Lake.

The cleanup will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Water chestnut plants in recent years have begun to inundate the lake, which remains healthy and filled with fish, but the water chestnut poses a threat to the long-term health of the lake.

Besides the manual work of using boats to remove plants, the Town of Oyster Bay will be sending an aquatic weed harvester to the lake for one week beginning Saturday to help with the removal.

The county has obtained a five-year permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation for the weed removal. Over the next five years, the county will continue to fight the invasive plant. A study also will be performed to better understand the lake’s overall health, depths and hydrology. The study will provide recommendations on how to permanently rid the lake of water chestnuts and other invasive species.

To volunteer for the cleanup, residents must register with the Department of Public Works by http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/weedpull.
— Bill Bleyer

Hurricane readiness seminar scheduled

Suffolk County Legis. Kate Browning (WFP-Shirley) and Mastic Beach Village Mayor Bill Biondi will present a “Hurricane Preparedness Seminar” tomorrow.

The meeting is to educate Mastic Beach residents on how they can better protect their families in case of an emergency.

Many village homes were ravaged and residents displaced by superstorm Sandy.

The meeting will be held at the Mastic Beach Fire Department at 6:30 p.m.
— Deon J. Hampton

Tags: Long Island , community , news , towns

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