Sandy cripples Hempstead Town facilities in Merrick-Bellmore


When Hurricane Sandy struck on Oct. 29, it severely damaged a number of Town of Hempstead facilities in the Bellmore-Merrick area. Repair work is under way, but it could be some time before they are up and running again. Particularly hard hit were the Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve, the Sanitation Department and the Merrick Senior Center.

Here’s an update from the town on its Bellmore-Merrick facilities:

Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve

Merrick Road, Merrick, off the Meadowbrook Parkway

The 50-acre Levy Preserve, with wetlands to the west and Merrick Bay to the south, was hit hard by the storm. According to the town, several sections of the park’s seashell-coated paths were washed away, and pilings at its fishing pier were lifted out of place when a 10-foot storm surge inundated the area. The park remains closed, and there is no reopening date.

Sanitation Department

Merrick Road, Merrick, off the Meadowbrook Parkway

The Sanitation Department, which is next to the Levy Preserve, is operating out of trailers as repairs to its main facility are made. The department’s phones were restored just this week.

Town officials said that sanitation crews will continue to collect the heaps of construction debris that homeowners leave in front of their houses as they rip out water-logged sheetrock and insulation.

For sanitation inquiries, including special pickup, homeowners can call (516) 378-4210. The homeowners’ disposal area in Merrick, though damaged in the storm, continues extended hours for residents, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Merrick Senior Center

Clubhouse Road, Merrick

The Senior Center was damaged by 4½ feet of water. The electrical system was ruined, and transformers were damaged. The kitchen was destroyed, including appliances and cabinets. The hot-water heater and furnace were also destroyed.

The center was gutted, with sheetrock and insulation removed. New transformers, heaters, a furnace and appliances have been ordered. Town officials say the center will open in several weeks, but there is no set date. In the meantime, seniors are meeting at the Merrick Road Golf Course clubhouse.

Merrick Golf Course

Clubhouse Road, Merrick

The golf course is open, and operating on its usual schedule.

Newbridge Road Park

Newbridge Road, Bellmore

After the storm, debris was removed and fence work was completed at the park. The ice rink was reopened shortly afterward. The football and softball fields were cleaned up in time for leagues to complete fall seasons.

Saltwater entered the pool, damaging pumps and valves. Pool work is under way, and the facility is expected to be up and running in time for the 2013 summer season, which begins in June.

Updated facilities information can be found on the town’s website,