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Local updates: Sandy's impact on LI, Nov. 2

A food and clothing drive is being held

A food and clothing drive is being held at the First Presbyterian Church of Babylon for victims of superstorm Sandy. It was organized by Michelle Melfi, her mother Judy Skillen and sister Kim Skillen, all of Babylon. (Nov. 2, 2012) Credit: Handout


After Sandy, dwindling patience in Mastic Beach

Evidence of dwindling patience was on display in Mastic Beach on Friday.

"We have no resources," said village Mayor Bill Biondi, adding, "The response is just very poor and it's very frustrating."

While National Guard and Army personnel had been deployed to help distribute food, check on homes in the village and patrol the vulnerable neighborhood, the extra manpower had moved on after a day.

The residents were getting angry, he said. "People are saying, 'Where's the power, where's LIPA, it's getting cold out.'"

Moments later, a woman walked into Village Hall with three children and angrily demanded that her taxes be refunded because power hadn't been restored to her Cranberry Drive home yet.

"I find this to be ridiculous," she said to village staffers, including Biondi. The woman, who declined to give her name, said her kids had no heat as temperatures plummeted, and asked if there was a way to just have power at night to heat the house.

"Nothing is wrong with complaining. You have every right to do that," Biondi said. "But where are our resources?"

"I'm not happy," she said as she walked out.

"No one is happy," Biondi said.

He said he is frustrated by the lack of support from the county. "The people of Suffolk County need to get down here," Biondi said.

FEMA visited the village Friday morning and assessed the damage. "They were surprised at the devastation," Biondi said.

His newest concern is that homes flooded by seawater will become fire hazards once power is restored and circuits come in contact with salt.

"We're telling people if there was saltwater damage to their house, to get out," he said. "The water is gone now, but the mold, and the water mixed with home heating oil" present other dangers.

People weren't necessarily listening, he acknowledged. But he still asked that residents with saltwater damage go to shelters for the time being. "Wait till we get a team in there to assess the situation in the home," he said.

The town nutrition center at 369 Neighborhood Rd. is stocked with Red Cross provisions and will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. over the weekend, Biondi said, adding that people could call code enforcement for access to the provisions at any hour. The number is 631-926-0051.

Another resource for residents is the Red Cross feeding area at the Mastic Fire Department on Herkimer and Mastic roads, where about 6,600 sandwiches are to be delivered daily through Thursday, according to Red Cross contracted food emergency services vendor Robert Larkin. The uneaten food will be thrown out every night because of the lack of available storage, so Larkin encouraged residents to avail themselves.

--Sophia Chang

UPDATED: 6:05 P.M.

Aquebogue senior center to keep residents warm

Riverhead Town will be keeping its senior center at 60 Shade Tree Ln., Aquebogue, open as a warming center from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The telephone number is 631-722-4444.

--Mitchell Freedman

UPDATED: 5:05 P.M.

Brookhaven ends evacuations for north, south shores

Brookhaven Town residents in communities on the north and south shores ordered to evacuate as a result of superstorm Sandy may return to their homes, the town announced Friday.

In a release, the town said the evacuation order that went into effect on Sunday expired at noon.

Also, Brookhaven acting supervisor Kathleen Walsh signed a new order extending the mandatory evacuation for the town’s portion of Fire Island, and extended the state of emergency declared on Oct. 27.

On the expired evacuation order for the north and south shores, Walsh urged residents who live in communities that experience major flooding and storm damage to “use every precaution when returning to your homes and businesses. There are still many down power lines, trees and other extremely hazardous debris, and some homes that have sustained significant damage may be dangerous to enter,” Walsh said. “We want everyone to stay safe, remain off the roads and allow emergency workers to get the clean up and power restoration job done as soon as possible.”

--Carl Corry

Town of Oyster Bay clothing drive

The Town of Oyster Bay will be conducting a clothing collection drive this weekend, Town Supervisor John Venditto announced in a news release Friday.

The collection will take place Saturday and Sunday from noon-5 p.m. at Oyster Bay Community Center, located on Church Street in Oyster Bay (down the block from Town Hall North); Syosset-Woodbury Community Park, located on Jericho Turnpike in Woodbury; and Marjorie R. Post Community Park, located at the corner of Unqua and Merrick Road in Massapequa.

Starting on Saturday, residents are encouraged to adult and children’s clothing, shoes, blankets, coats and children’s toys. On Sunday, the clothing drive will continue, and distribution will begin to residents.
-- Newsday Staff


Pick up food in Mastic before it goes bad

There's an expiration date on the boxes of food piled up at the Mastic Fire Department, and it's 7 p.m. Friday, according to Red Cross food emergency services coordinator Robert Larkin.

The feeding area has been getting 6,600 sandwiches every day from the Red Cross and because there's no way to store them, the uneaten sandwiches must be thrown out every night.

Larkin said he wanted more people in the area to know about the available food, because "it's gone after tonight."

Volunteer Gen Colon said there were plenty of takers earlier Friday but the traffic died off after noon.

She walked from her nearby house to the firehouse at Herkimer and Mastic to volunteer.

"I just want to help," she said.

Food also is available at the Brookhaven Nutrition Center in Mastic Beach all day.

-- Sophia Chang


Southold leaf cleanup begins

Southold has begun its townwide leaf cleanup, and is asking residents to put leaves in biodegradable brown paper bags and leave them, along with all storm-related debris, on the unpaved part of the town right of way in front of their homes. Limbs and branches can be no more than 10 feet long, and the town will not pick up construction materials, marine debris or household trash.

Crews plan to go through areas only once, although the town transfer station is accepting brush brought in by residents at no charge.

In addition, a trailer with Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives will be in operation at the Southold Town Hall parking lot on Monday and Tuesday to help residents who want information about federal assistance programs. It will be staffed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

-- Mitchell Freedman


Nassau, Island Harvest join forces

From a news release: Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced today that Nassau County is teaming up with Island Harvest to visit hard-hit areas in Nassau County, delivering thousands of sandwiches and juice boxes in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Announcing to the public via bull horns, the food will be distributed by Island Harvest trucks directly to residents, firefighters and EMTs. The distribution, will take place at the following fire departments in this order: Point Lookout-Lido, Long Beach, Island Park, East Rockaway, Freeport, Atlantic Beach, Oceanside, Massapequa, Bellmore, Seaford, Wantagh, Hewlett, Lawrence-Cedarhurst, Inwood, Woodmere, Baldwin, Merrick.

Additionally, Island Harvest posted on its Facebook page that it is seekingf 20-30 volunteers for both Saturday and Sunday at its Hauppauge (40 Marcus Blvd.) and Uniondale (875 Jerusalem Ave.) warehouses, starting at 10 a.m. to about 3 p.m. Email if you’re interested.

-- Newsday Staff


Impromptu Babylon charity still seeks items

Michelle Melfi’s home on Gamecock Lane in Babylon wasn’t hurt by superstorm Sandy, but she knows others who have been hit hard.

“So many of my friends and so many of my kids’ friends — their houses have been destroyed and they need help,” she said.

So this morning she and her family decided to do something about it.

Melfi’s mother, Judy Skillen, who is an elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Babylon, called the pastor, Tom Sutter, and asked if they could use the church’s gymnasium to set up shop to collect and distribute toiletries, gift cards, water, food, school supplies, coats and clothing. He quickly agreed, and they went into action, posting on Facebook that they would be at the church and seeking donations.

Since 10 a.m., they’ve collected hundreds of items of clothing, canned goods and water.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of neighbors to help neighbors,” said Kim Skillen, Melfi’s sister. “We posted a few things on Facebook and this is what we got.”

The collection is running through 4 p.m. today and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. tomorrow.

Melfi, 46, an administrator at the Half Hollow Hills School District, said she may extend it to Sunday from noon-4 p.m. if there are leftover items to distribute.

Anyone needing help, especially from the surrounding area south of Montauk Highway, which was hardest hit, is welcome to pick up items at the church.

“I think it’s wonderful what Judy and her two daughters have done,” said Sutter. “It should show everybody the power of Facebook.”

Sutter added that the church had gotten power at 4 a. m. this morning. It was still without gas, telephone or Internet service as of 3 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church is located at 79 East Main St., Babylon.

--Carl Corry


Free ice this weekend in Suffolk

The Suffolk County Sheriff will continue free distribution of ice over the weekend to county residents, again on a first-come-first serve basis, according to a release Friday.

Ice will be distributed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday — or until the supply runs out — at the following locations:

* Corner of Yaphank Avenue and Glover Driver in Yaphank.

* Suffolk County Correctional Facility on Route 24 in Riverside.

People, especially those expecting to arrive after noon, should call ahead to check on availability at 631-987-0706.

Residents, who should bring their own coolers, are limited to one cooler fill-up per car.

Since Thursday, more than 2,300 pounds of ice had been given out, the release said.
-- Patricia Kitchen


Suffolk impound auction canceled

The Suffolk County Police Impound Unit has canceled the vehicle auction scheduled for Saturday 9 a.m. at the impound facility in Westhampton. The auction will be rescheduled.
-- Newsday Staff

Mastics-Moriches-Shirley library offers services, seeks Sandy history

The Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community library announced on Friday that it has free hot coffee, tea and hot chocolate available. In addition, all overdue fines have been waived and movies are running movies in our meeting room throughout the day.

Library staff will also help those needing information or instructions on filing forms online with FEMA, banks, insurance companies, etc. And the library is collecting photographs and videos of the storm for its local history collections.

For more information, call 631-399-1511.
-- Newsday Staff

Red Cross opens meal centers in Suffolk

According to a news release from the Town of Brookhaven, the Red Cross has opened three Mobile Meals Distribution Centers in Suffolk County. The centers are open at 11 a.m. for lunch and 4 p.m. for dinner. Red Cross Comfort kits will also be made available.

Locations are at:

* Mastic Fire House, 1088 Mastic Rd., Mastic

* Riverhead County Center, 210 Center Dr., Riverhead

* H. Lee Dennison Building, 100 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Hauppauge

For more information, call the Red Cross at 631-924-6911 or 1-800-733-2767. You can also visit or
-- Newsday Staff

UPDATED 12:56 P.M.
Sandy sends LIer’s cruise into extra innings

Michelle Moore, 35, of Huntington Station left on a cruise headed for the Caribbean on Oct. 20, which was slated to be back in New York on Monday.

With Sandy approaching, the cruise tried to rush back, but the city's port was already closed so they had to go back out to sea, Moore said.

She said they ended up in Boston to restock supplies and finally made it back to New York on Friday morning.

“My stomach says thank you to the land,” she said as she got off the LIRR train that had just arrived in Huntington from Penn Station.

“We are really fortunate,” she said of the fact that the Huntington train started running Friday.

After an extra five days on the boat, Moore was anxious to get home to check on her home, family and friends.

She said the not knowing -- "that was the hardest part."
-- Mackenzie Issler

UPDATED 12:51 P.M.
Glen Cove High back in business as shelter

The Glen Cove School District and the City of Glen Cove have teamed up to reopen Glen Cove High School as a shelter in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

The school had been serving as a shelter since Tuesday but was closed temporarily by the Red Cross.

The high school has heat, electricity (cellphone charging is available), some food and movies will be playing.

Glen Cove High School is located at 150 Dosoris Lane in Glen Cove.
-- Newsday Staff

UPDATED 12:41 P.M.

Food distributions centers in Nassau

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced Friday that the county, FEMA, Island Harvest and the Red Cross began distributing food and drinks of residents impacted by superstorm Sandy.

Here’s the breakdown:

Island Harvest food bank will distribute up to 20,000 sandwiches and drinks today to residents on the streets of Freeport, Island Park, Massapequa and Seaford through a mobile distribution center

The Red Cross has opened a number of mobile meals distribution centers from 11 a.m. 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Meals, water, and comfort kits will be distributed at Cedar Creek Park in Seaford (Merrick Road east of Wantagh Avenue) and Nickerson Beach Park in Lido Beach (880 Lido Blvd.

FEMA’s points of distribution locations include:

South Shore
Bellmore: Newbridge Road Park, 2600 S. Newbridge Rd.
East Rockaway: Village Hall, 376 Atlantic Ave.

Long Beach:
East Elementary, intersection of Neptune & Hudson Boulevard
West Elementary, intersection of Maryland Avenue and Beach Street

Island Park:
Lincoln Ornes Middle School, 150 Trafalger Blvd.
Heggarty School, 100 Radcliffe Rd.
Massapequa Park: Marjorie R. Post Community Park, 451 Unqua Rd.

Oceanside: Oceanside Park, 3800 Mahlon Brower Dr.

North Shore
Bayville: Stehli Beach, Corner of Bayville Rd & Bayville Ave.

Great Neck
Great Neck North High School, 35 Polo Rd.
Great Neck South High School, 341 Lakeville Rd.

Manhasset: Manhasset Secondary School, 200 Memorial Pl.

New Cassel/Westbury: New Cassel Community Center, Garden St.

UPDATED 12:05 P.M.
Special yard waste pickup in Brookhaven

The Town of Brookhaven has scheduled a special yard waste pickup from Nov. 5-Nov. 9 to accommodate residents affected by superstorm Sandy, the town announced Friday.

Yard waste from storm damage must be bundled and placed on the curb Sunday night for pick up next week, the town said

For more information, call 631-451-TOWN or visit

--Newsday Staff

UPDATED 11:58 A.M.
Freeport to turn power on for some on Saturday

Freeport Village is turning on power Saturday at 10 a.m. for south Freeport, south of Atlantic Avenue.

The village has asked all residents to cut power if their home electrical systems have not been deemed safe by a certified electrician or village workers. The repowering effort could cause fire hazards if unsafe homes are turned on, village officials said.

Freeport suffered at least five structure fires as a result of Sandy.

-- Patrick Whittle

UPDATED 11:54 A.M.
Generators a prized possession in Smithtown

More than a dozen people stood in a shopping center on Main Street in Smithtown Thursday to buy a hot commodity: Generators.

Scott Frybarger, owner of Universal Power Equipment, sold them out of a large container rigged to the back of his truck. The price tag: $2,450.

Frybarger drove “hundreds” of the 9,000-volt electric start, remote control generators from Connecticut because “we got begged to come here,” he said.

Suzanne Duerwald, 44, of Smithtown, waited two hours for a generator to power her home, alongside daughter Julia, 12, and son Jake, 15.

“There’s a lot of happy people in this parking lot today,” she said. “It’s like an early Christmas.”

Many lamented a shortage of generators in nearby stores, and with temperatures dropping, there was a healthy amount of worry.

-- Lauren R. Harrison


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