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National Guard called in to Island Park

Water filling streets as Hurricane Sandy makes landfall in New Jersey

UPDATE, 11 p.m. Monday: There was no explosion at the Barrett Power Plant, LIPA officials said. "Earlier tonight around 8:30 p.m. Barrett substation did go out, residents may have heard a pop from that," LIPA media representatives said to the Herald via email. "No one was hurt and there is no longer power at the substation as of now. Residents are not in danger from the substation but there may be wires down in the area." Residents should not go near any down wires. They should call in outages and downed wires to 1-800-490-0075. UPDATE, 10 p.m. Monday: There are unconfirmed reports of an explosion or some other event at the Barrett Power Plant in Island Park. The reports could not be confirmed at this time. We will update when we get more information. UPDATE, 8:45 p.m. Monday: The blackouts keep stacking up. There are now 7,705 people in Oceanside without power and 2,003 in Island Park. There are also reports of a fire on Marina Road in Island Park. More details to come as they come in. UPDATE, 8 p.m. Monday: The Island Park Fire Department has confirmed the massive power outages in Island Park. The fire department posted on Facebook that the National Guard was called in to Island Park to assist with rescue and recovery once the wind subsides. The IPFD said on its Facebook page that it will no longer be responding to calls until the wind subsides. Residents should stay indoors at this point. UPDATE, 7:30 p.m. Monday: LIPA is now reporting outages affecting 6,410 customers in Oceanside -- more than half of the people serviced by LIPA. UPDATE, 6:30 p.m. Monday: Reports are coming in of a transformer blowing out in Island Park. According to LIPA's power outage map, approximately 1,600 customers in Island Park and 2,800 in Oceanside are without power. Mayor James Ruzicka said that the fire department headquarters lost power, which usually indicates a major line is down. The IPFD headquarters has a backup generator to keep things running. Flooding has also increased in parts of Oceanside, as shown in this video posted by John Gandolfo: UPDATE, 5 p.m. Monday: UPDATE, 4 p.m. Monday: LIPA is reporting 514 customers without power in Oceanside and 43 without power in Island Park. No word yet as to when service will be restored. UPDATE, Noon Monday: Nassau County Legislator Howard Kopel just posted the following message on his Facebook page. "LIPA has just informed me that due to hazardous conditions stemming from Hurricane Sandy, most of their field restoration efforts for homes without power have been curtailed as of 12 Noon today. As conditions improve, LIPA says they will resume their field restoration efforts." Hurricane Sandy is not expected to fully hit the area until later tonight. But Oceanside and Island Park — both of which are located in storm surge zones — have already begun flooding. Streets in Island Park began flooding last night with the high tide, with water coming up through drains. Some areas have continued to get worse since then, already rivaling the flooding experienced during Hurricane Irene. “We’re going to get hammered tonight,” said Island Park Mayor James Ruzicka. “I wouldn’t say it was equivalent to Irene, but it’s close to that, and it’s not even the height of the storm yet. I expect nearly every block in Island Park will have water.” Ruzicka said that the Island Park Fire Department will be responding to calls as long as possible. But once the winds reach a sustained speed of 50 miles per hour, it will be too dangerous for the fire department to respond to calls. “They’re a pretty resourceful bunch, so they’ll help as much as they can,” said Ruzicka. The IPFD moved some of its trucks to Oceanside to keep them out of flood zones. But there is still one fire truck and an ambulance at the fire department headquarters. The department also has a surplus five-ton truck that it can use to get through flood waters for a time. The Oceanside Fire Department is following a plan similar to that of Island Park. Once there are sustained winds of 55 miles per hour, the OFD will not be responding to calls. “As we get the alarms, we list them,” said Chief William Madden. “When the winds come down, we’ll respond to them.” Madden said that reports say that many areas in southern Oceanside are flooded, including Areas south of Waukena Avenue and east of Long Beach Road, as well as south of Mott Street. As of now, Oceanside Schools are closed on Tuesday. Island Park residents with internet access can visit the Island Park Community Group on Facebook to keep in touch with other residents about conditions in the community. Stay with the Herald for more information as we get it.