Superstorm Sandy Leaves Boats Sitting In Front Yards Of L.I. Homeowners
TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES
LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Wednesday was filled with devastation, destruction and depression for those living across Long Island, especially in areas like Merrick and Long Beach.
CBS 2′s Jennifer McLogan spoke with a couple — Lori and Richard Landau — who said they had nine boats now sitting in their Merrick front and back yards. In fact, one boat owner came from three towns over to claim one of the vessels.
“This is a terrible couple of days, but hopefully we’ll get it all resolved and we’ll look back and say ‘We lived there at that time?’” Richard Landau said.
“It’s scary. We were very lucky we weren’t home,” Lori Landau added.
The couple said they were waiting for an adjuster to come to the home and assess the damage.
“The insurance told us that they’re not even going to get back to us for five to seven days,” Lori Landau said. “They’re just so overwhelmed with people.”
Lori Landau also said that some residents had buoys in their yards further north even though their homes are not located near the water.
CBS 2′s McLogan also spoke with another devastated man who runs a marina in the area. He estimated that between “70 to 100 boats” floated through Merrick.
“We need all the help we can get to try and put this back together,” he said.
McLogan also spoke with a local restaurant owner, who was nearly in tears while saying his business was “just gone.”
“Our life is here. We try the best we can to put the pieces together, but we need help,” he said.
Many residents on Long Island remained without electricity and thousands of others were dealing with flooded basements Wednesday, two days after one of the most devastating storms in three-quarters of a century smacked the region.
The Long Island Power Authority said it could take up to 10 days to restore power to hundreds of thousands of customers. At one point, more than 930,000 outages were being reported — about 90 percent of the utility’s customers.
LIPA crews have been out around-the-clock trying to restore service.
“It’s still an assessment day, but as we assess we can also restore power,” LIPA spokesman Mark Gross said.
An additional 1,969 workers were being sent to Long Island to help LIPA and National Grid crews, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.
“Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island and the New York metro area particularly hard, and we must direct our resources to where they are needed the most and can help the most people,” Cuomo said.
The crews are coming from Iowa, Texas, North Carolina, Alabama, Wisconsin, California, Tennessee, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Florida, and Indiana.
One of the hardest hit areas was the city of Long Beach where a landmark boardwalk buckled under the rising tide. The ocean waves carried beach sand for several blocks into the community and ripped apart the boardwalk. The boardwalk is off-limits.
The community of 35,000 year-long residents remained in a catastrophic situation, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported. The National Guard, FEMA, state and local police continued to assist in recovery efforts. A curfew was implemented from 7 p.m. through 6 a.m. to prevent looting.
1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports
Wednesday was the second day of no water, sewer, electricity and phone service of any kind — including cell phones. The only communication is with two-way radios, D’Auria reported.
“The water plant lost power, as did everybody else, at which point our generators kicked in,” City Manager Jack Schnirman said. “Unfortunately, due to the incredible flooding, ultimately the generators were under six feet of water.”
Water and sewer service could be restored by early next week, Schnirman said.
“As soon as we know how long it’s going to be we’re going to let everybody know,” Schnirman said. “Water is being pumped out, generators are being rescued, additional generators are being brought in.”
More people agreed to evacuate the area Wednesday, taking buses to Nassau Community College. Thousands had ignored mandatory orders to evacuate before the storm hit, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.
Further east, 12 houses on Fire Island were swept out to sea, and 80 percent of the remaining houses sustained some kind of damage.
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports from Babylon
There were also several breaches, where the ocean overran the land and co-mingled with the Great South Bay in the popular summertime resort.
The coastal community of Mastic Beach also appeared to be among the areas that suffered the most damage as a result of the superstorm.
About 100 people had to be rescued from their homes in Mastic Beach as the flood waters inundated much of the area, First Assistant Fire Chief Carlo Grover said.
In Babylon, thousands of cars, boats and homes were destroyed, 1010 WINS’ Rivera reported.
“It’s overwhelming,” resident Linda Menger said. “There’s so much to do, where do we start?”
The magnitude of Sandy’s destruction was becoming clearer as officials surveyed the damage.
An aerial photo released by the Cuomo administration shows water covering what’s normally a wide strand of white sand at historic Jones Beach, with the sea squeezing the park’s network of roads from two sides.
State Director of Operations Howard Glaser posted the photo to Twitter with the chilling note that there’s no beach left.
Compared to the devastation in coastal towns, some residents on Nassau County’s North Shore were counting themselves blessed.
“We just lost power in the evening but otherwise it was fine,” one man said. “It was just dark and that was it.”
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports
Meanwhile, drivers were facing hazardous conditions as many roads were blocked by giant trees and downed power lines.
“All of the trees fell onto my neighbor’s house, one destroyed one of my cars and it imprisoned us in our house,” Roslyn resident Daniel Turestsky said.
Contractors were reaching out to out-of-state workers to help with the clean-up, CBS 2 reported.
Long Island Rail Road restored limited service beginning at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The LIRR said crews were working to repair flood damage, remove down trees, and restore signal and power.
(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)