** Update ** The Lindenhurst Memorial Library will have extended hours this SATURDAY and SUNDAY and will remain open from 9am to 9pm to offer residents access to heat, internet, Wi-fi, a comfortable place to relax, charging stations, and television playing in the small meeting room. Additional local food and clothing drive locations will be listed below as they are added.
Lindenhurst and Babylon, two adjacent areas along Long Island’s south shore have been absolutely devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Hundreds of residents south of Montauk Highway in Lindenhurst were stranded in their homes during the storm as the flood waters surged up higher than 7 feet in some areas. The fire department lost a fire truck to high flood waters and the national guard has set up camp on Montauk Highway to protect the area’s residents and properties. As of now, entire neighborhoods are still completely inaccessible and impassable streets are still filled with flood water.
The adjacent southshore village area of Babylon lost four homes to fires that broke out during the storm and received 60 calls from residents facing distress, fires or evacuations. Babylon's town beaches including Venetian Shores, Gilgo Beach and Captree Island among others, were completely decimated.
The losses in these areas are simply heartbreaking. Many reports, photos and video have started to pour in from the area. Decks, docks and homes were strewn about. Boats were thrown like toys through garages and homes. Roofs have flown off of houses and landed in neighboring yards. Hundreds of families have lost absolutely everything they had.
The community has come together, to come to the aid of their neighbors. The Village hall in Lindenhurst, located at 430 Wellwood Avenue, has opened a food pantry and is open Saturday from 9am to 5pm and next week during regular business hours from 9am to 4:30pm. Locals have joined forces with the Lindenhurst Fire Department and the TAL (Teachers Alliance of Lindenhurst), the teachers union, in arranging drives at local shopping centers to accept donated bedding, food and clothing for the families who lost everything in Hurricane Sandy’s devastating wake.
The Lindenhurst Fire department is accepting blankets, pet food, clothing, coats, hats, gloves, non-perishable food and school supplies on behalf of the community which can be dropped off at the LFD headquarters, located at 225 South Wellwood Avenue. A donation area is also set up at the Firemen's Pavilion* in town. * From 9am to 7pm on 11/3 and 11/4/12.
Local businesses have opened their doors as well, offering everything from free storage for residents belongings to coffee to those who are working to clean up the area. The Fireside Saloon has opened up their doors as well, offering local residents hot food and coffee and to come and stay indoors use their little available power to charge their phones, take a break and warm up by their fireplace.
** Additional resources/events for residents in need at the following locations **
Astoria Federal banks are open and are offering free re-charging stations for affected residents.
Fireman's Park in Lindenhurst will be hosting a "Trunk or Treat" at 2p.m. on Saturday 11/3 around the perimeter of the park for the children of Lindenhurst who missed out on Halloween. Decorate your car and bring some candy for the kids! (If you are not participating, please do not park at the perimeter of the park so this area remains available for this event.)
Donations are being accepted at the American Legion Hall, 22 Grove Street in Babylon Village. Volunteers are requested Saturday 11/3 to assist in getting supplies to those in need as well as to assist in clean up efforts of local homeowners. If you would like to help your neighbors in the Babylon Village area clean up, please meet at 9 a.m. behind the American Legion Hall. Volunteers must be 18 or older, should wear work clothes (long sleeves and long pants), work gloves, and bring their own tools (hammers, crow bars) and masks.
Photo by Robert Byrne of Lindenhurst