Written by Matthew A. Piacentini Friday, 02 September 2011 00:00
Area residents felt the effects of Hurricane Irene over the past weekend, which made landfall in New York as a Tropical Storm around 9 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28. According to local weather reports, sustained winds were around 50 mph with gusts up to 75 mph, which knocked down many trees throughout Glenwood Landing, Glen Head, Sea Cliff and Glen Cove and some power lines as well. In addition, local waters experienced a storm surge that flooded low-lying parts of the area, including Tappen Beach. Parts of Sea Cliff and Glen Cove’s small islands were evacuated in anticipation of this. Damage from flooding and downed trees left many without power well into the week.
The National Weather Service had warned that the storm surge would be several feet above normal due to the storm making landfall at high tide and tides being higher than usual from a “new moon tide.” On Friday evening, Aug. 26, Nassau County ordered the mandatory evacuation of all low-lying coastal areas on the North Shore due to concerns about the storm surge. It was explained that “low-lying areas” meant all residences that were at 10 feet above sea level or less, or areas that have had coastal surges in the past.
Local police provided an update on Sunday at noon after the worst of Irene had passed, stating that the peninsula had suffered expected damage related to a typical heavy storm. At that point, they said that two-thirds of the peninsula (over 10,000 homes) had lost power. Police also said in this message that it may not be known until after the storm has passed when restoration will occur, and that outages should be reported to LIPA at 1-800-490-0025. The second part of this police message related to numerous road blockages from trees and flooding. Police said that Public Safety was already working to clear as many of blockages as they can, and people should beware that downed trees are often entangled with live power lines. The police also warned that people should stay indoors until after the storm passed, since trees were still falling and conditions were hazardous.
LIPA has been out working to restore power in the affected areas.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano issued the following statement on Sunday afternoon: “The worst of the storm has passed. I want to thank our residents for their cooperation and thank all those that participated in our emergency management plan. Fortunately, we have no reports of storm related deaths or serious injuries in the County at this time. Unfortunately, we have much to assess and clean-up; including significant flooding of up to 4 feet occurred in storm surge zones throughout Nassau County. This presents a call for caution. Many traffic signals are out of order, there are down power lines, flooded roadways and many downed trees. LIPA reports that over 120,000 residents in Nassau County experienced power outages. Residents should assume that downed power lines are live, assume large standing trees are a hazard as the ground is saturated.
“Accordingly, I have directed the implementation of our Debris Management and Restoration Plan. Under the direction of DPW, and in coordination with our towns, villages and utility companies, thousands of workers are cleaning up and restoring local neighborhoods. This includes removing debris and trees from roadways, cleaning storm basins and pumping out flooded streets and highway. I’d like to take a moment to thank Governor Cuomo for his assistance with the National Guard and for sending Andrew Feeney, Director of the State Emergency Management Office, to Nassau County to assist with clean-up efforts.”