Written by Rich Forestano Tuesday, 20 November 2012 00:00
All village departments were in prep mode days before the storm made landfall. First Assistant Chief Jeff Clark said the fire department began planning for the storm on Oct. 22, making its final preparations days before the storm.
The MFD received its first storm-related call on Oct. 29 at 9:50 a.m., requesting assistance for a fallen tree and downed wires on De Mott Street, according to Clark. The MFD activated its hurricane response plan, putting all members on full alert. Fifty-two more calls came in by 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 30, including a house fire, which spread to utility poles and neighboring trees.
According to Clark, following the storm there were 30 other calls due to numerous incidents including 19 carbon monoxide alarms, which sent nine residents to the hospital.
“We also had mutual aid calls for a house fire in Albertson and a building fire in New Hyde Park, Clark said. “During the storm, we sent an engine down to Merrick to help manage with…they had multiple house fires down there. Crews from Engine Company No. 3 went down.”
MFD firefighters also responded to multiple house fires in Freeport, which was hit hard during the storm, resulting in flooding and damaged homes and businesses. More than 60 MFD members were “in quarters” ready to respond and aid victims during the height of the storm.
Following Sandy, the nor’easter dubbed Athena rolled in, dumping a mixture of rain and sleet mixed with snow, which turned to ice in some areas of Mineola. An additional 35 LIPA customers lost power due to that storm. In spite of the storm, Clark said, the fire department still handed out nearly 2,000 popcorn balls on Halloween to children.
“The nor’easter generated 12 calls over a 5-hour period,” Clark stated. “Again, trees down, wires down and a working car fire.”
The MFD opened its headquarters to 35 tree crew workers from Alabama, giving them lodging, while the Mineola Junior Fire Department cooked for the out-of-town workers.
“I’m not saying this because I’m a member of the fire department, but I’m sure all the residents out there echo those sentiments,” Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said. “A volunteer organization; you left your homes, you left your families to protect ours and the businesses of the village. We can’t thank you guys enough. You stepped up in a huge way and shined as you always do.”
Strauss wanted to reiterate from a previous meeting that building permit fees for storm damage to homes and buildings in Mineola were waived and that bids for the Bruce Terrace Flood Remediation Project are still on the table.
“We are coordinating with [Nassau] County and we’ll formalize this and have [the bids] set to go in three weeks,” Strauss stated.
Debris clean-up from both storms is still ongoing. Sandy took down 302 trees while Athena claimed 75. Village officials are anticipating a loss of 400 total trees since Mineola public works officials are still canvassing the area, searching for trees that need to be taken down.
“We are going to remove the curbs that have been damaged and the sidewalks that have been damaged,” said Strauss said. “We have a process in place to repair those and we are going forward with that. We’re getting back to normalcy. We’re almost there.”
Residents who feel they need FEMA assistance need to register with the agency by calling 1-800-621-FEMA. More information is available at www.mineola-ny.gov.
“Island Park, Long Beach and areas like that are reaching out and asking anybody that’s licensed, insured contractors,” Trustee George Durham said. “They need all the help they can get. If you know somebody that’s an electrician, plumber, general contractor that needs work, those villages are looking for anybody and everybody to help rebuild. Pass the word around.”
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The spirit of giving during the holiday season is ramping up and two Mineola-based organizations were one of the first beneficiaries. The Family & Children’s Association and the Winthrop Cancer Center for Kids recently received 325 Toys
“R” Us gift cards totaling $8,125 from MSC Industrial Direct Co., a metalworking supply company headquartered in Melville. The two groups have received gift cards from MSC’s Annual Toys “R” Us Holiday Gift Card Program for the past several years.
The Family & Children’s Association is a multi-faceted organization that helps foster children, homeless youth, runaway teens, struggling families, veterans, and even senior citizens. While the association has a hand in many types of community outreach, it started out as an orphanage and still places an important emphasis on housing. The goal is simple—to keep families together.
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 00:00
The Village of Mineola is in the process of acquiring multiple properties as a result of the completion of the Long Island Rail Road Crossing Elimination project. The board of trustees recently passed a resolution to start the process.
All open items involving the project have been resolved by the New York State Department of Transportation. State law, according to village attorney John Spellman, allows villages to attain properties within the project.
“That project involved eliminating at-grade crossings at Herricks Road, Roslyn Road and the reconstruction the Mineola Boulevard Bridge,” Spellman said. “We recommended that the village pass a resolution accepting these properties so that we can begin the process of officially acquiring them.”
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
MAA Travel Soccer teams wrapped up their respective fall 2013 seasons recently. Two MAA teams won titles this season in the Long Island Junior Soccer League; the BU13 Mineola Empire went 9-0-1 and the GU14 Red Bulls enjoyed a 8-1-1 campaign to each win first place trophies. The GU11 Honey Badgers went undefeated (6-0-2) and finished in second place in their division, as did the GU15 Mini-Mustangs with a 7-1-1 season record.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The Mineola 12U fall intramural baseball team celebrated their fall season and tournament championship with a pizza party/awards dinner on Nov. 20. In addition to celebrating a great fall season and tournament championship, the boys were treated to an inspirational talk by coach Ken Conrade, the 2013 New York State High School Coach of the Year.
Conrade, the Kellenberg Memorial High School assistant principal for academics and girls varsity softball coach, was the keynote speaker for the awards dinner. He presented a very talked about baseball and youth sports.
Conrade’s talk was framed around each inning of a baseball game. He used stories and examples from the first to an extra “10th inning” to drive home both a sports and life lesson. For example, as part of the seventh inning stretch, he had each player stand up, stretch their legs and then go and thank their parents for their support and commitment to their baseball playing.