BloggersDavid Reich-Hale Denise M. Bonilla Sophia Chang Tara Conry Carl Corry Erin Geismar Scott Eidler Mackenzie Issler Carl MacGowan Deborah S. Morris Ted Phillips Candice Ruud Nicholas Spangler Joshua Stewart
Local updates: Sandy's, nor'easter's impact on Long Island
UPDATED: 8:50 P.M.
‘A long road’ in East Rockaway
Diesel fuel mixed with flood water soaked into the hardwood floors, walls and furniture inside the East Rockaway home of Vicki and Andrew Braun.
The couple said the first floor of their house took on 2 feet of water, which combined with an oily substance. They had to cut all the walls, remove the floors and throw out household property.
“There is oil residue on everything,” said Vicki Braun, 45, who was with her husband, 46, at village hall. “It is a distinct smell.”
The couple has been waiting to meet with a FEMA adjuster, but three appointments have not been kept in the past week, they said. They’re supposed to finally meet the adjuster on Saturday, they said.
“I cry every day,” said Vicki Braun, adding they and their two children are staying in Hewlett with her husband’s sister. “I was very optimistic at first, but the rules keep changing daily.”
The Brauns are not alone. About half of East Rockaway’s 3,800 homes were under 6 feet of water after the storm, and the majority of the 10,000 residents still have no electricity, Mayor Francis T. Lenahan Jr. said.
“We are all victims, even our first responders,” said Lenahan, who is also a member of the local fire department, adding even his son and daughter lost their home. “Many people lost power and that’s bad, but many people lost their homes.”
Village officials also helped after the Bay Park Sewage Treatment plant went offline last week after more than 9 feet of seawater breached the facility's basement and sub-basement after the storm, Lenahan said. He commended Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano for controlling the situation.
The village lost its library, recreation center, public works department building and fire headquarters to the flood waters, Lenahan said. On top of that, Lenahan said he’s concerned the business district might not survive the storm’s aftermath.
“Our business district was devastated,” Lenahan said. “I am concerned about that. It’s going to be a long road. That’s why we need power.”
Honda donates 100 generators to Nassau
Honda has donated 100 generators to Nassau to help power warming stations and shelters, officials announced Friday.
The EU2000 portable generators from American Honda Motor Company were being delivered Friday to fire departments in the county’s hardest hit areas, especially areas south of Merrick Road, a major street near the shoreline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
The Honda packages also contain gas cans, fire extinguishers, Pelican lights, some of which are designed to be water resistant, cords and power strips, the state said.
The delivery of these packages is being coordinated by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services with county and local fire department officials.
“These generators will be essential in keeping warming stations powered and running in the most impacted areas of Nassau County so that local residents have a place to go if they are cold,” Cuomo said in a statement. “I encourage other corporations to provide any help they can offer.”
Stephan Morikawa, assistant vice president of corporate community relations at American Honda, said the company has been trying to help Superstorm Sandy’s East Coast victims on several fronts: “The Honda family of companies in North America, and our associates, dealers, suppliers, customers and others affiliated with the company are pitching in to respond to this very tough situation.”
-- Ellen Yan
UPDATED: 6:21 P.M.
Resident narrates video tour of mess in Oceanside
This smartphone video of a backlog of garbage on Elaine Drive in Oceanside posted yesterday by resident Rebecca Benjamin is making the rounds on Facebook.
In it, she narrates a tour of the area in her car, showing piles of garbage on each side of the road. She says garbage hasn’t been picked up since superstorm Sandy.
“I drove around my block like four times, again and again, to make sure I got it right,” she said.
Benjamin, 40, an English teacher at Island Trees Middle School in Levittown, along with her husband, 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son, have been staying with a co-worker in Merrick.
Benjamin, who moved to Elaine Drive in February, said houses there were flooded during Sandy and storm drains backed up. Her parents’ house in Island Park was also damaged, and the building that her sister lived in was damaged and condemned, she said.
Benjamin said she’s gotten comments on Facebook from around the country, with nearly 50 people sharing the video. It’s also posted on YouTube.
Separately, earlier today, hundreds of people rallied at School 8 to blast LIPA for not restoring power to their homes, and they also criticized local officials. Read Candice Ruud's full story.
UPDATED: 5:52 P.M.
Rockin’ out for a cause in Northport
Just Because, a Northport-based band, is rocking out for a cause. To help residents impacted by superstorm Sandy, the classic rock band is holding a fundraiser Nov. 16 at Skipper’s Pub and Restaurant in Northport. The event kicks off at 9 p.m. and will feature music and dancing. Admission is free.
They are asking attendees to bring donations of canned and boxed food, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, towels, diapers, and deodorant. Cash and check contributions are also being accepted. Donations can also be sent to Rotary Club of Northport, P.O. Box 323, Northport, NY 11768.
Proceeds will be used to provide assistance to those who suffered losses from superstorm Sandy.
Skipper’s is at 34 Main St.
--Deborah S. Morris
UPDATED 5:20 P.M.
Island Park mayor says village ‘the forgotten child’
Ken Finn is ready to move out of Island Park.
After superstorm Sandy inundated the mostly below-sea-level village with more than 8 feet of water, Finn said he’s made plans to leave the village for Huntington.
Finn, who has lived on a second-floor apartment in the village for three years, said he has no power, no heat and on top of that, he lost two vehicles to flooding.
“I’m glad we are moving,” said Finn, 47, who is temporarily staying in Oceanside with his girlfriend, two children and two stepchildren. “Nobody wants to live here anymore. I think they are going to condemn the house I am living in.”
The snow left behind by the nor’easter has made living without electricity or heat even harder for Michelle Amoruso, who went to the village’s makeshift recovery center at the Long Island Rail Road’s Island Park station parking lot. Amoruso said her basement was “destroyed.”
“This snow is like another stab,” Amoruso, 46, said tearfully. “We need help. We have no heat. We are devastated.”
Island Park native Christopher Motisi, 28, owner of the local Ale House in Island Park, said his bar was flooded by 5 feet of water. Montisi, who has a 10-year lease, said he had opened six weeks ago, after spending $100,000 and six months renovating the place.
“Now, I have to do it all over again,” said Motisi, adding he will spend about $40,000 to redo the place. “It’s horrible.”
Mayor James Ruzicka expressed concerns that local businesses would reopen because they were “wiped out.”
“Whether they come back, I don’t know,” said Ruzicka, who was at the temporary trailer office at the train station lot. “I am afraid it will turn into a ghost town after this. It is really scary.”
Ruzicka also complained about the slow response from local government officials. He said of the 1,100 homes in the village, about 95 percent suffered “severe water damage” and are still without power. He noted the village hall endured “tremendous” damage and would likely be condemned.
“It took a while for the county to get to us,” said Ruzicka, adding he went last week to the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management Office to get help for the village. “We were the forgotten child.”
-- Aisha Al-Muslim
UPDATED 4:40 P.M.
Supply distribution in Seaford
From a news release: State Sen. Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Long Island Cares announced that they will be partnering together in sponsoring a free mobile food distribution program this Saturday to help residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The program will take place Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at Seamans Neck Park, located at 2700 South Seamans Neck Rd. in Seaford. More than 15,000 pounds of food, water, and supplies will be brought to the park to serve the victims of Sandy who are in need.
Residents will be able to obtain the following items free of charge:
* Non-perishable food items (pastas, grains, and mixed vegetables)
* Protein bars
* Baby food, formula, and juice
* Pet food
Individuals will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointments are required.
For more information, please call Fuschillo’s office at 516-882-0630 or Long Island Cares at 631-582-FOOD.
-- Newsday Staff
UPDATED 4:10 P.M.
Baldwin distribution point for people’s needs
According to a news release from the office of state Assemb. Brian Curran, a point of distribution at Meadow Elementary School in Baldwin -- providing clothing, coats, blankets, firewood, dry ice, food and water to residents struggling in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy -- will remain open Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The National Guard will be there to assist in the distribution.
For more information, residents should call Curran’s district office at 516-561-8216.
-- Newsday Staff
UPDATED 3:05 P.M.
Sandy Q&A in Freeport
Freeport Mayor Andrew Hardwick is holding a post-storm Sandy question and answer session on Saturday from 5-7 p.m. at the Freeport Recreation Center, 130 E. Merrick Rd. Representatives from Freeport's public works, electric, emergency management, police, building and counsel departments will be present. Representatives from FEMA and National Grid are also expected. Hot meals will be served. For more information, call 516-377-2314.
-- Aisha Al-Muslim
UPDATED 2:52 P.M.
Sandy donations in Valley Stream
From a news release: In response to the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy and this week's nor'easter, Valley Stream Mayor Ed Fare and the Village Board of Trustees announced that the Village of Valley Stream is planning a food and clothing drive for Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Village Green, located behind the Valley Stream Village Hall at 123 S. Central Avenue. Non-perishable food items, toiletries and new or gently used blankets and outerwear will be collected. There will also be Toys for Tots bins set up to receive new, unwrapped toys for the upcoming holiday season. Area students and scouts will be on hand to volunteer their time for this effort
All donations will be distributed to needy families in the Valley Stream area, and to local charities.
For information, please call 516-825-4200.
-- Newsday Staff
UPDATED 12:30 P.M.
Brookhaven info on storm debris, donations
The Town of Brookhaven landfill and Manorville composting site will be open Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for residential drop-off of storm related brush and tree debris. The town will waive the fee for residential storm-related brush and tree debris at both locations. The town will not waive the fee for materials transported in commercial vehicles.
The landfill is located at 350 Horseblock Rd. in Yaphank. Normal hours of operation are Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Manorville composting site is located at the end of Papermill Road in Manorville. Normal hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 631-451-TOWN or visit www.brookhaven.org.
Also, the Town of Brookhaven’s Department of Housing and Human Services is now accepting donations for distribution to Red Cross evacuation centers and warming centers located in Brookhaven Town.
They are no longer accepting donations of clothing. Donations of towels, diapers, cleaning supplies, yard tools, masks, gloves, storm supplies, baby items, toiletries, pet supplies, clean blankets, batteries, hand warmers, water, nonperishable foods, board games, crayons, coloring books, toys and more can be dropped in the lobby at Town Hall, 1 Independence Hill, Farmingville. Town Hall is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 631-451-6600.
-- Newsday Staff
UPDATED 12:13 P.M.
Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax deadline extended
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced today that the Nov. 2 deadline for employers in Nassau County to file a Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax (MCTMT) protective refund claim has been extended until Nov. 14 as a result of superstorm Sandy.
A final decision on the legality of the MTA Payroll Tax expected in January, the news release said.
To file a protective claim, employers can: Complete an electronic form by visiting https://www8.tax.ny.gov/MCPC/mcpcStart; or call for an automated telephone application at (518) 485-2392. Those with an Online Service account through the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, you may file through the services menu by visiting http://www.tax.ny.gov/online.
-- Newsday Staff
UPDATED 9:25 A.M.
Emotional help after Sandy
Huntington-based Family Service League, nonprofit human services agencies, is offering crisis intervention counseling and information and referral services to people impacted by superstorm Sandy.
Professional counselors are available to listen and offer suggestions as how to cope with the situation at the following locations or by telephone:
* Riverhead Family Center: 631-369-0104; 208 Roanoke Ave., Riverhead
* Iovino South Shore Family Center: 631-647-3100; 1444 Fifth Ave., Bay Shore
* Brookhaven Family Center: 631-924-3741; 1490 William Floyd Pkwy., Yaphank
Assistance with immediate needs such as food and clothing is available as well as:
* Manor Field Family Center: 631-425-9694; 90 East Fifth St., Huntington Station
For more information, call 631-427-3700 or visit www.fsl-li.org.
-- Newsday Staff
Warming center at Amityville school
The Amityville Teacher Association, the Administrator Association (AAA) and the parent association (APTC) have joined to host a warming center from 4-7 p.m. in the Northeast Elementary School cafeteria. Amityville School District residents who are still without heat and electricity are invited to have enjoy a warm meal and drink and to recharge their electronic devices. There will also be food and clothing items for families if needed.
The school is located at 420 Albany Ave. in Amityville. For more information, call 631-565-6400.
-- Newsday Staff