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Long IslandTowns

N. Hempstead help line gets lots of calls

The Town of North Hempstead’s 311 call line received more than 12,000 storm-related calls during and after the landing of Tropical Storm Irene over the weekend.

The call load was the heaviest since the town started the hotline in 2005.

“We’ve not had any busier time than this,” town spokesman Collin Nash said.

From 6 p.m. Thursday, when the first evacuation orders were issued, through 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, 311 operators took 12,057 calls from across the town as well as from residents in the towns of Oyster Bay and Hempstead.

“People were calling about everything,” Nash said.

Some callers wondered if they should evacuate, if their home was in a flood zone and, later, when LIPA would restore power. They also reported downed trees, with more than 500 buckled sidewalks and blocked roadways, and other Irene-created hazards.

Town Hall lost power through Monday night but used generators to power the 311 call center, which residents use to report issues, get information and schedule services. 

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