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Governor Cuomo Issues Update on Flood Recovery on Long Island

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued an update on the flood recovery on Long Island.

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Long Island, NY - August 13, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued an update on the flood recovery on Long Island. Earlier this morning, the Governor directed resources to assist Long Island’s recovery from the nearly 13 inches of rain that fell between the hours of midnight Tuesday and 7:15 a.m. Wednesday that resulted in flash floods.

The State’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated and has continuously provided support. The following agencies are staffing the Center: Division of State Police (DSP), Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC), Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Division of Military and Naval Affairs (DMNA). Suffolk County has declared a County State of Emergency and activated the County’s EOC, and the Towns of Babylon and Islip have each activated EOCs.

According to the New York State Public Service Commission, 6,200 customers were without power on Long Island as of 11:00 a.m. As of 3:00 p.m., 2,004 customers were without power. PSEG Long Island has available more than 400 line crews to repair the outages in the affected regions on Long Island. Most of these customers will be restored by late afternoon, the rest before the end of the day.

The flooding caused closures along 11 major highways in Long Island, and nine of those highways have fully reopened as of 3 p.m. Roadways are continuing to be cleared, but some major parts remain closed. Flooding in certain areas has caused damage that will require a longer repair time. Motorists are urged to call 511 or check for the latest information on road closures before driving to ensure safe travel, especially during this evening’s commute.

Governor Cuomo urges people in the affected regions to adhere to suggested recovery tips, which can be found HERE.

The following road closures are in effect:

  • Sunrise Highway (NY 27) is closed in both directions from the Heckscher Parkway/Southern State Parkway to Exit 45 (NY 111). This should be cleared by the evening commute.
  • Wantagh State Parkway closed both directions between Exit W5 (NY 27) to Exit W4 (Southern State Pkwy).
  • I-495 (LIE) westbound service road closed at Exit 34 in Nassau County.
  • NY 111 closed in both directions at the Long Island Expressway due to sinkhole.
  • Ocean Parkway eastbound at Tobay Beach, the right and center lanes are closed due to flood damage.
  • Meadowbrook Parkway NB approximately ¾ of a mile north of Loop Parkway, the right lane closed at the False Channel Bridge due to flood damage.
  • Robert Moses Causeway has one right lane closed southbound at Sunrise Highway (NY 27) in Bay Shore, Suffolk County.

Steps taken to assist flooded areas include:

Roads and Bridges
The New York State Department of Transportation has 400 maintenance crew members working to clear debris from drains and recharge basins. Assessment teams have also been deployed to evaluate roadways for damage.

Public Transit
Buses are replacing LIRR trains on the Port Jefferson Branch between Kings Park and Port Jefferson in both directions. The MTA expects to restore service in time for the afternoon rush, but two trains on the Port Jefferson branch will be canceled and their customers accommodated on other trains. Flooding conditions are also causing scattered delays of up to 60 minutes on the Montauk Branch. Customers on all LIRR services should check for the latest travel information before beginning their trips.

The New York State Public Service Commission extended its Call Center Helpline hours today until 7:30 P.M., and continuing from 7:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M., Thursday, August 14, as needed. Anyone needing assistance with a utility problem should call the Call Center Helpline at 1-800-342-3377.

Public Health & Safety
State Police worked with the State Department of Transportation to remove disabled vehicles from the lanes of the Parkways allowing Long Island State Parkways to reopen. Troopers utilized a high axle vehicle to assist in removing vehicles from the flood zones.

The State Health Department’s Bureau of Water Supply Protection is working closely with Nassau and Suffolk County health officials to monitor public water systems. At this time, there are no reports that flooding has impacted public drinking water systems.

American Red Cross (ARC)
The ARC is coordinating its operations with agency response partners and Red Cross volunteer is in Suffolk County EOC as liaison. The ARC has readied flood kits for deployment in expectation of responses throughout the day, and disaster Assessment teams are being assembled and will be sent to locations that have requested ARC assistance. At least eight households have reported flooded homes and basements to ARC.

Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) have been deployed to Bayshore Fire Department to provide hydration, food and blankets. The ARC has assisted at least eight adults, seven children and pets at Bayshore FD. The Red Cross will continue to assess flooding conditions throughout the day and collaborate with its partners should additional assistance and services be needed.

Private Property
DFS stands ready to issue temporary adjuster licenses on an expedited basis to insurers as needed to ensure that any claims arising from the storm are handled by companies with appropriate dispatch and urgency. After Sandy, DFS issued more than 20,000 temporary adjuster licenses, with a turnaround of less than 24 hours after an application was made.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has closed shellfish harvesting areas in most towns in Nassau and Suffolk counties to protect the public health. DEC will reopen areas as soon as possible based on the results of water quality testing to be conducted on samples that will be collected from the affected areas over the next several days. A list of the areas that are designated as uncertified and the harvest of shellfish is temporarily prohibited can be found here.

DEC operates a 24-hour Emergency Spill Hotline at 1-800-457-7362 for the public to notify the department of suspected spills.

State Parks
Full closures remain at Bethpage State Park, Brentwood State Park, Belmont State Park and Hither Hills. Atlantic Ocean Beach Parks (Jones Beach, Robert Moses and Captree) are partially open, but no swimming is allowed due to dangerous high surf. Visitors should check the State Parks website for updates here.