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Legislator calls for storm resiliency plan

From left, Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman,

From left, Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman, Nassau Legis. Laura Curran and Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy speak at a news conference in Freeport on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Nassau County Legis. Laura Curran, joined by Long Beach and Freeport officials, said Thursday that the county needs a storm resiliency plan in the wake of superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Harvey.

Curran (D-Baldwin), who is running for county executive, called on the county to establish a master resiliency plan that would protect critical infrastructure, examine the system failures during Sandy and create an online list of flood resources and establish an emergency portal, including a missing persons database and hotline.

She was joined by Long Beach City Manager and county comptroller candidate Jack Schnirman, and Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy at a news conference on the banks of Seabreeze Park, which flooded during Sandy in 2012.

“The destruction we’re seeing from Harvey is a painful reminder of what we saw here in superstorm Sandy and how the lack of preparedness on Long Island made things worse,” Curran said. “The truth is, Nassau County still isn’t fully prepared to deal with a future natural disaster because we haven’t adequately strengthened our coastlines, our buildings or infrastructure.”

Curran joined in supporting Kennedy’s proposal to add tidal gates at the entrance of Reynolds Channel and Jones Inlet to protect flooding of the county’s South Shore.

But a spokesman for Nassau Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) said Curran has routinely voted against improvements for roads and sewage treatment plants after Sandy.

And officials with County Executive Ed Mangano’s office said the county has updated its comprehensive emergency management plan to prepare the county for disasters after Sandy.

“Politics has no place in the realm of natural disasters. It is a cheap shot,” Deputy County Executive Ed Ward said.

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