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Friday, October 24, 2014

Lynbrook on the road to recovery after storm
Hurricane Sandy leaves trees down, big clean up job in village
Courtesy Hilary Becker
When they Titan wrestling team and the Lynbrook Little League came to the Rec department in Greis Park for registration sign up last weekend, little did they know that it would turn into a huge fundraising event.

South Shore residents are still feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy: fallen trees, downed power lines, scarce electricity and gasoline.

In preparation for the storm, and in its aftermath, resources were mobilized in Lynbrook to help people in any way possible. Clearing the hundreds of trees and power lines has been a major task for Department of Public Works employees, but the job is steadily getting done.

“Other communities had water damage — we mainly had wind damage,” said Phil Healey, superintendent of the DPW. “Some of the gusts that were out there [last] Monday night, Tuesday morning were just like nothing I’ve ever experienced.” Healey estimated that 500 trees fell in Lynbrook during the storm, and he had crews working around the clock to clean them up. He added that LIPA delegated 15 crews to the village, including workers from Michigan.

Lynbrook Police Chief Joseph Neve said his department’s biggest obstacle has been dark traffic signals. Intersection were barricaded on Sunrise Highway — except at Broadway, where the light still worked — preventing cars from driving north and south in order to make driving safer.

Neve added that there were 18 police officers working during the storm — 10 more than on a normal night — and that wasn’t enough. When winds reached sustained speeds of 50 to 55 mph, Neve said, officers had to seek shelter, and responded only to emergency calls.

With cell phone reception spotty, or in some cases nonexistent, village department heads used walkie-talkies to communicate. Healey and Neve, who have remained in constant contact, said that the area south of Sunrise Highway was hit especially hard, with heavy winds.

Deputy Mayor Alan Beach said that many residents called Village Hall seeking assistance after the storm hit, and were directed to the proper departments. He cited one instance in which and elderly woman called saying she was in need of food, and was put in contact with Our Lady of Peace Church, which has a food pantry.

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