LI's county execs kept busy with Sandy's aftermath
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone over the past several days has toured the flood-ravaged South Shore communities of Lindenhurst and Fire Island, and the power-starved North Shore enclaves of Rocky Point and Huntington Station.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano has visited tree-blocked streets in Hicksville and washed-out neighborhoods in Island Park. Monday, he didn't make it to his office in Mineola until midday, when he announced a new economic recovery task force.
Long Island's two county executives were unable to slow their schedules over the weekend and on Monday, as superstorm Sandy's aftereffects -- from acute gas shortages to thousands of residents still without heat or electricity -- showed few signs of subsiding.
Bellone and Mangano may not be leading multiple news conferences each day, as they did in the early part of the storm, but they're filling that time giving frequent updates to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and President Barack Obama, and serving as links between local governments, LIPA and armies of volunteers.
"We bring resources to bear, but we're also the bridge between the towns and the villages, and the federal and state government," said Bellone, who, post-Sandy, has made Suffolk's emergency operations center in Yaphank his office. "This is obviously a massive logistical effort between every level of government, and we're here to provide our support."
Monday, Mangano met with Federal Emergency Management Agency workers in Island Park, walked Bethpage and Levittown streets, and chatted with Oceanside firefighters about their cleanup efforts.
"I've been from Bayville to Port Washington, and from Great Neck to Long Beach," Mangano said in an interview.
He also noted Nassau County's role in clearing debris from roads that aren't within its jurisdiction, and in some cases hauling trash that local collectors normally take.
Bellone Monday participated in a conference call with President Barack Obama. It was Bellone's third since the storm hit, and he said he and his staff now joke that, "the president won't leave us alone, he's on the phone again."