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After Sandy, assessing the damage

Damage caused by superstorm Sandy in Breezy Point.

Damage caused by superstorm Sandy in Breezy Point. (Oct. 30, 2012) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Long Islanders spent Tuesday cleaning up from a storm that downed boats, tossed cars, battered homes and submerged roadways under several feet of water.

Four-lane byways were blocked by felled trees, and sea creatures normally found only at the shore suddenly wound up in private homes, shoveled out with so much rainwater.

Beaches extended their reach into the first floors of apartment buildings, and thriving downtowns were emptied as residents focused their attention to the standing water in their living rooms.

And even as the wind slowed and the tide receded, Islanders struggled with a new problem: no electricity.

While town officials survey the damage, there's only one estimate that seems to stick: millions.


Long Beach

Lack of water, sewers

Long Beach suffered crippling flood damage, city manager Jack Schnirman said, adding that the region's most pressing issue is its lack of water and sewer services.

City officials are bringing 500 portable toilets for residents and are offering transportation from City Hall to a shelter at Nassau Community College.

Long Beach's beloved boardwalk buckled in many places, and the ramps leading to the beach were destroyed. The iconic lifeguard station is gone.

Six homes burned in the canals neighborhood, leaving only their chimneys and staircases behind. Many roads remained flooded Tuesday and several were covered in as much as a foot of sand.

The first floor of nearly every apartment building lining the boardwalk has been flooded. Bungalows in the West End have water marks 3 feet high. Nearby nursing homes have seen their first floors overtaken with water.


Glen Cove

Hospital on generator

Much of Glen Cove was without power Tuesday and North Shore LIJ-Glen Cove Hospital was running on a generator, officials said.

More than 16,000 customers were without electricity last evening, the Long Island Power Authority reported on an interactive map.

The water had mostly receded Tuesday night, but East Beach Road, which the city shares with Lattingtown, still had some flooding, city officials said.

Some residents' basements, including those on East and West islands and Shore Road, were also flooded, officials said.


Oyster Bay

Pumping out water

Dozens of boats broke lose from their moorings or sunk in Oyster Bay Harbor and in Mill Neck Creek.

Hundreds of homes on the eastern half of Bayville have flooded basements or worse. The entire South Shore from Massapequa to Seaford has suffered extensive damage, officials said.

Some residents spent Tuesday pumping water and shoveling sand, shells, seaweed and starfish out of their houses.

Nassau County workers Tuesday afternoon were erecting a waist-high wall of plastic road barriers filled with water across the north end of the Bayville Bridge.

Nassau police were allowing only Mill Neck residents who live along the north end of West Shore Road to cross the bridge in either direction. The southern half of the road is impassable due, in part, to a collapsed section.


N. Hempstead

Most homes spared

Low-lying parks were flooded, but homes were largely spared in North Hempstead.

About 70 trees were blocking major roads, Andrew DeMartin, town public safety commissioner, said Tuesday afternoon, adding he is concerned about live wires.

The worst hit areas were East Williston, Williston Park, Manhasset and Albertson; all saw trees down with some uprooting sidewalks. Parks and beaches in Sands Point and Kings Point Villages were flooded.


Boats washed ashore

The barrier-island communities of Atlantic Beach, Atlantic Beach Estates, Point Lookout and Lido Beach suffered the greatest damage, officials said. And South Shore communities were also hit hard.

Boats came ashore in roadways in Wantagh and Freeport; cars and debris have been washed into Atlantic Beach neighborhoods. The town's east and west marinas in Lido Beach suffered greatly.

Town spokesman Michael Deery said that coastal flooding and erosion was "significant," and that the damages outpaced Irene.

The town, citing safety concerns, is asking residents to stay home for Halloween.



4 homes burn

The area along the South Shore from the county line to Babylon Village was among those hardest hit on Long Island, after the Mastic Beach peninsula, officials said.

It could be a month or longer before life returns to normal, said Babylon supervisor Rich Schaffer. Four homes burned Tuesday and overnight.

Town officials were waiting for LIPA assistance to clear potentially electrified lines from main roads at 56 locations Tuesday afternoon; there were 13 downed line locations in Lindenhurst and 12 in Amityville.

Montauk Highway was impassable at 15 locations, he said. National Guard and county police have been stationed there to keep people out of neighborhoods south of highway until the water subsides.

Power is out in the barrier beach communities and cell service is intermittent, said Babylon chief of staff Ron Kluesner. The main road there, Ocean Parkway, was blocked by debris. Significant beach erosion seems likely.

Town spokesman Tim Ruggeri said power was out in 85 percent of the town, with parts of Montauk Highway blocked off and many streets south of the highway under several feet of water.



Shorelines hit hard

Damage was concentrated along the shorelines in Brookhaven.

The North Shore communities suffered heavy tree damage, according to town Highway Supervisor John Rouse.

Townwide there were reports of at least 500 trees down, and because the department's phone line was temporarily out of service, more reports are sure to come, he said.

Port Jefferson's downtown district of small businesses and restaurants was heavily flooded, said Mayor Margot Garant.

In Mastic Beach on the South Shore, about a thousand homes were inundated with a mix of water and heating oil, said Mayor Bill Biondi.

The village will have a dusk-to-dawn curfew in place because of the number of downed trees and wires.



Trees block roads

Islip's biggest problem Tuesday afternoon was fallen trees, Councilman Anthony Senft said.

Of the 210 calls from constituents the town had received at its emergency command center since Tuesday morning, nearly all reported downed trees and impassable roads.

Around 62,000 Islip households were without power Tuesday, of around 111,000 LIPA customers in the town.

Fire Island sustained severe damage; at least four houses in Atlantique have been destroyed and at least one in Ocean Beach washed away completely.



Low areas impacted

Fort Salonga, Kings Park and Long Beach suffered significant erosion; the staircases to beaches there are gone, Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said.

John Valentine, town director of public safety, said the worst-hit areas included low-lying areas in the Nissequogue River corridor, St. James and Nesconset.

Landing Avenue was closed Tuesday afternoon. And a few private, commercial buildings in the Hauppauge industrial park suffered roof damage.



Aid expected

The storm damage was townwide, with trees and wires down throughout, town Supervisor Frank Petrone said, adding it could take up to three days to clear the streets.

Petrone, who was operating from the town emergency operation center on Pulaski Road, asked residents to be patient because restoring power is a complex process. He said he expects the town to get federal aid and estimating the damage to be in the millions.


Shelter Island

No power at all

All of Shelter Island and its 3,000 homes were without power Tuesday afternoon, Police Chief Jim Read said.

There was no estimate on the cost of the storm, but there were dozens of downed trees and wires and significant property damage on the island.

LIPA crews were on the scene restoring power; they had been working through the night and were close to getting a main power line up that stretches across the island.

Storm surge washed over Ram Island several times Tuesday. Fewer than 50 people were there, Read said, and they were unscathed.



Severe flooding

Major flooding along the Peconic Bay receded and officials opened the causeway to Orient Point Tuesday.

Town firefighters had to rescue about a half dozen cars stranded in water, even after repeated warnings to residents not to drive into puddles, Southold Town Police Capt. Frank Kruszeski said.

A more extensive survey of the coastline is expected Wednesday and there is no estimate on the damages. Power was being restored much faster than it was last year after Tropical Storm Irene. officials said.

The town's highway supervisor said all roads were expected to be passable by last evening.



Most lack electricity

Sixty percent of residents were without power late Tuesday afternoon.

Town Supervisor Sean Walter said he estimates the damage to public infrastructure to be between half a million and a million dollars.

"Wading River just got slammed," Walter said, explaining the village was hit hardest in terms of power outages, flooding and downed trees.

Out of 3,500 LIPA customers in Wading River, 800 had power as of Tuesday afternoon.

There was severe flooding in Jamesport and areas south of Peconic Bay Boulevard. Grangebel Park in Downtown Riverhead near Main Street was flooded as of late Tuesday.


East Hampton

Dune road damaged

Dune Road suffered significant damage, said Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, adding that it was breached in at least two places and will be closed "until further notice."

The commercial fishing pier on the bay side of the road was covered in sand.

East Hampton Town Chief Financial Officer Len Bernard said that there was one storm breach in Napeague, but that the town plugged it quickly.

Several East End towns are planning to open their transfer stations and recycling center so residents can bring storm debris for disposal.

With James T. Madore, Emily Ngo, Bill Bleyer, Scott Eidler, Patrick Whittle, Nicholas Spangler, Sophia Chang, Candice Ruud, Lauren Harrison, Deborah Morris, Candice Ferrette, Lisa Du and Mitch Freedman

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