”As Long Beach began the arduous task of rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy decimated the city, officials were faced with another blow: a nor’easter on Wednesday.
The city remained under a mandatory evacuation order, and officials urged residents to stay with family, friends or at local shelters, saying that buses at City Hall continue to transport residents to shelters outside the city.
With high wind gusts and widespread moderate coastal flooding expected on Wednesday, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano on Tuesday reminded residents living in flood zones that the evacuation order remained in effect. With the dunes in the West End gone and with virtually no protection from strong waves along the beachfront, the city could suffer more damage, especially at high tide officials said.
“We’ve told people to get out … it’s not safe,” said Gordon Tepper, a spokesman for the city.
City Manager Jack Schnirman said on Wednesday that the city had shifted from a recovery back to emergency response with the help of federal, state and county agencies.
He also said that berms were being constructed along the beaches.
“We are urging folks to again evacuate as we continue to restore critical infrastructure, but depending on the strength of the storm, we don’t know if we’ll lose any infrastructure that we restored,” he said. “We’re taking every effort to ensure the safety of our residents and our first responders … we must let everyone know that after the storm, despite our best efforts, the city remains extremely vulnerable.”
Sgt. Eric Cregeen, a spokesman for the Police Department, said that the National Guard provided the city with two high-axle vehicles. “In the event that we have high tide or flooding, we’ll be able to maintain our recue operations or respond to any calls for help,” Cregeen said. “Our trees are still stressed from the last storm, and people should be mindful of tree limbs if they’re in the city.”