By Carolyn Gusoff

GLEN COVE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Some of the highest rain totals from the remnants of Ida on Long Island were on the North Shore of Nassau County.

That’s where one police department’s phone lines were under water, retaining walls collapsed and homes were flooded with sewage.

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Long Island’s highest rain total was in Glen Cove, where streets looked like rivers and a downtown garage was deluged.

“We received nine inches of rain from ten o’clock to two o’clock in the morning,” Nassau legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton said. “Everything we had in place didn’t stand a chance.”

A mud slide behind a house in Sea Cliff dramatically tells this North Shore story. Fast and furious, rain obliterated the embankment that had held the hillside home stable for more than a century.

“We heard the rains, but we had no idea that the cliff had washed away,” Sea Cliff resident Victoria Bjorklund said.

Down the block, a retaining wall collapsed.

“It sounded like a huge boom,” one person said.


“These are cement retaining walls that have been there for many, many years. They survived Hurricane Sandy, and this storm took them out just from the hydrostatic pressure,” Village of Sea Cliff Administrator Bruce Kennedy said.

The water was so forceful, it seeped in through walls.

“This was shocking,” one resident said. “It’s starting to smell.”

The smell for some Glen Cove residents is hard to bear. Water bubbling up through bathroom drains was actual sewage.

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“You could smell it. You could see it. It was brown. It was dirty. It was disgusting, and then it was, once it started coming through, just the whole entire apartment was just flooded,” Glen Cove resident Kristin Vandamia said.

“You have to worry about E. coli and COVID right now,” Glen Cove resident Lora Cusumano said.

“We are kind of stuck with it. Whether you had homeowners insurance, flood insurance, act of God, nobody’s going to cover it,” Glen Cove resident Philippe Voeglen said.

Officials say a sewage pump station lost power and its back-up generator didn’t kick in.

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Some of the lowest lying parts of the North Shore peninsula house public offices in the city of Glen Cove.

The police department’s phone lines were under more than six feet of water, and the library is out of commission.

“Everything’s been closed for the past year and a half, two years, so to have it closed again is very hard,” Glen Cove library director Kathy Flynn said.

Glen Cove High School flooded, pushing opening day off one week.

There was also heartbreaking damage to a church built right after World War II.

“There was water inside because everything seeped through the doors … It was a total lake here,” said Father Alexander Antchoutine, of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Intercession.

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The only bright side, say residents, is a community coming together to help neighbors in need.

Carolyn Gusoff