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Athena Slams Area One Week After Sandy Visit

Overnight storm creates traffic jams, additional power outages as officials work to continue hurricane cleanup

Long Island couldn’t catch a break. Nearly eight days after Hurricane Sandy rocked the Northeast, a nor’easter dubbed Athena rolled in on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Raucous weather dumped snow mixed with rain and sleet, creating hazardous road conditions that made the easiest of trips resemble a scene out of The Day After Tomorrow.

Rush hour last Wednesday on Old Country Road near the Mineola Train Station showcased vehicles jockeying for position, struggling to make their way down slippery, icy roads. According to the Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) website, almost 60,000 customers lost electricity into Thursday morning because of Athena, with combined Sandy outages reaching 200,000 across the island by the morning commute. More than 140,000 were in Nassau County alone.

After Sandy arrived in Mineola, LIPA reported almost 12,000 outages in the village. Before Athena hit, Mineola tallied about 800 reported outages throughout the village. Once the snow settled, homes without power increased to 835 as of 5 p.m. last Thursday.

Williston Park has 5,000 without power, according to LIPA. Outages stretched throughout the town.

Other notable totals included but were not limited to Floral Park (3,939), Great Neck (1,791), Great Neck Estates (1,077), North Hills (2,737), North New Hyde Park (3,420), Port Washington (2,203), Port Washington North (1,304), Sands Point (1,121) and Westbury (1,714). LIPA reported that North Hempstead outages reached 38,000. Eight inches of snow was reported in nearby Albertson, according to the National Weather Service.

“[The Nov. 7] storm has caused additional damage and power outages and we will continue to deploy our significant workforce to address all power outages,” LIPA said on its website after Athena hit. “[It] may impede our restoration efforts, because we must also ensure the safety of our workforce. Rest assured that our crews will continue to work as long as, and whenever, it is safe to do so. When possible, we will restore power to customers who have been without power for the longest time. Your safety and well-being remain our number one priority and we thank you for your continued patience during this difficult time.”

About 12,000 workers were out after the storm, trying to restore power. The authority asked that people stay clear of downed wires and be aware of areas impacted by snow, where wires and trees could be covered and dangerous.

Mineola over the last two years has been pummeled by the elements. Hurricane Irene ripped through the village in 2011, the rogue storm on Aug. 15 made the area look like Atlantis and now Sandy, coupled with Athena, pulled no punches. To say the least, it’s been a rough time for Long Island.

As did Mineola with its village hall creating a warming center and charging station, Nassau County and the American Red Cross set up a shelter at New Hyde Park Memorial High School after the shelter at Manhasset High School closed, according to North Hempstead officials.

“We shifted from storm recovery back to storm preparation, all the while doing recovery still,” North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman said. “Folks are trying to get communication between LIPA, villages and other villages so other people have an understanding of what’s happening, primarily because the frustration from residents is growing to greater heights just based on the time that it is taking to get power up in so many of our communities.”

The town ran two buses on Wednesday to the seven comfort stations in North Hempstead. The vehicles picked up residents who wanted to stay at the shelter because the non-designated shelters are not equipped to have people stay overnight. According Kaiman, the shelter holds about 750 people.

“We’re told that 252 [LIPA] lineman [were working] in our town,” Kaiman stated.

News

The founders of the popular Facebook group “Massapequa Moms,” a ‘virtual living room with 6,700 people,’ are leveraging their social media power to create a new discount loyalty card good all over Long Island—including, they hope, in Mineola. 

 

With a hugely popular Facebook community, co-founders Dawn Boyle Kostakis and Stephanie Hartman wanted to “figure out a way that we could help the consumer and the business owner at the same time; keeping commerce going, keeping it all local and having the people get a little bang for their buck,” said Kostakis. They wanted to serve more than just Massapequa, too, and the Long Island Loyalty card was born. 

Educating The Underprivileged Girl

As I tried to make my way through the unforgiving monsoon season, rain pouring as far as the eye could see, dodging puddles I rushed inside the school building. The guard yelled in the background for the children to come in quickly before they dragged in even more mud inside. Trying hard not to slip on the wet dirty floor, I pondered to myself what

exactly I was doing here. The words of Mahatma Gandhi resonated inside my head, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

 

Here I was at a school in Mumbai India, 7800 miles from my home in Mineola, volunteering with “Aseema,” a non-governmental organization whose mission is to empower and educate the under privileged children. Children living on the streets or in slums and in inhuman conditions.


Sports

The Mineola Mustangs varsity football team defeated the Roosevelt Roughriders 47-38 on Saturday, Sept. 20.

 

Senior quarterback James Gerstner led the Mustangs (2-0) to victory by rushing 212 yards and securing five touchdowns on 23 carries.  He also completed 11 of 13 passes for 229 yards and one touchdown.

 

“This was a big game—we were ready and pumped up all week,” Gerstner said.  “We came in ranked third but we knew we could beat them.”

Mustangs Shut Out Valley Stream

The Mineola Varsity Football team’s defense dominated Valley Stream South, winning 21-0 on Sept. 13. The Falcons never got further then Mineola’s 30 yard line. The defense was lead by senior linebackers Eric Guardado (8 tackles 6 assist), Ed Hincapie (6 tackles, 5 assist) and safety John Clancy (tackles, 3 assist).

 

Defensive linemen Anthony Sarno, Luigi Athan, Victor Tineo, Matt Lafaye and Chris Brenes controlled the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs Peter McCormack and Chris Lockwood played very well as they combined for eight tackles and only allowed two pass completions. Linebacker Kyle Dunleavy, Ben Carbone, Matt Kosowski and Brian Smith also played very well.


Calendar

Exercise Class - September 24

Silver Sneaker Fitness - September 25

International Night - September 25


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com