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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rockville Centre earns kudos for storm work

Village officials expressed their pride and gratitude for the response to Hurricane Sandy at the village Board of Trustees meeting on Monday.

Mayor Francis Murray began the meeting by addressing the disaster that rocked much of Long Island, and thanked the department heads and their workers for their diligence before, during and after the storm.

“Though we mostly escaped the destruction visited on our neighbors close to the water, many of our residents still had to endure some hardships,” Murray said. “I thank you for the great effort, and I want to thank all our residents for being reasonable, understanding and patient as our workers, assisted by crews from out of state, have labored round the clock to clear our roads, put in new poles and repair our damaged electrical system.”

Each department head was called up to the lectern to give an account of their workers’ efforts since the storm began. Paul Pallas, Electric Department superintendent, announced that as of Monday evening, all power had been restored to village residents, with the exception of about 30 homes.

“At the peak, we had probably 8,000 customers out of service,” Pallas said. “We started planning for this well in advance of the storm. We tripled our work force with just line workers.”

He explained in brief the process of restoring power, saying that there are certain areas of the village that must be restored before others, and that the first step is to look at critical facilities, like water and sewage systems.

Police Commissioner Charles Gennario said that the Police Department received 4,100 calls in the week after the storm, which is more than four times the average, and that the department received 600 calls for emergency service, which is three times the average.

“During the week of the storm, we had about 12 arrests,” Gennario said. “That’s about a 50 percent increase over the same time a year prior.”

He also dispelled rumors about a spree of burglaries in the village, and added that there were increased patrols in the past week with State Police assistance.

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