Edith Hotis said she might have to cancel Easter dinner for the first time in years because Brookhaven Town officials have banned her from using her bluff-top deck overlooking Long Island Sound in Sound Beach.

Tuesday's storm undermined the bulkhead under her neighbor's deck, sending most of it into the Sound and compromising her own deck, cordoned off yesterday with yellow caution tape.

"I'm doing the best that I can but really I'm a nervous wreck," said Hotis, 75.

Hotis said town Supervisor Mark Lesko visited her home and promised to do what he could to help expedite restoring the bulkhead.

"The recent storm was devastating and the Town of Brookhaven will make every effort to pursue county, state, and federal aid," Lesko said in a statement.

Hotis said she is counting on Lesko. "The town has to help me. I don't have any money."


In Riverhead, the town pumped water out of Horton Street, which was submerged after Tuesday's storm. Deputy Town Supervisor Jill Lewis said she expects the work to take a few more days. The Red Cross found shelter for seven households, she said, and no one moved back into their homes yesterday.

The town still is assessing damage and whether it can apply for help from FEMA.


In Middle Island, the La Gala family's home remained vacant, after the basement filled with as much as 8 feet of water. Three feet of water remained yesterday, as friends and family helped with the cleanup.

Stephany La Gala and her husband, Raymond, both 60, who have lived there for 30 years, are staying with their son, Jason, in Holtsville, while daughters Grace, 25, and Joanna, 30, and three grandchildren are in a hotel, courtesy of the Red Cross. The family has no flood insurance, Raymond said.

"It's awful," he said. "We're not saying anyone has lost their life, but to lose everything you have, well, it's tragic."

Heavy flooding filled several basements near Lakeview Drive in Mastic Beach, where some roads remained impassable Thursday.

John Stein of Orchid Drive used two pumps to drain his front yard. He said his crawl space and cesspools were also filled, but felt fortunate compared with a neighbor whose oil tank exploded, prompting a state Department of Environmental Conservation response. Next door, Daniella Robles had 3 feet of water in her basement. "It's like I'm in 'Titanic,' " she said.

Jane Alker of Lakeview Drive had about $10,000 in damage, losing her heating system, a washer and dryer, and a dehumidifier.

In Southampton, crews worked on Dune Road, which runs along the Atlantic Ocean from West Hampton Dunes to Shinnecock Inlet. The road suffered additional cracking and splitting as dump trucks filled with sand traveled back and forth, replenishing the beach in Quogue to deal with a local erosion problem, according to Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor.

Meanwhile, a dune line eroded on Surfside Drive, which contains about a dozen homes, causing a drop-off of 12 to 15 feet, chief environmental analyst Marty Shea said. No homes were destroyed because many homeowners brought in their own sand to fight off erosion, he said.

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