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Nor'easter Piles On Smithtown Town's Hurricane Clean Up

Smithtown officials continue to work well with LIPA, urge residents to stay off the icy roads to avoid accidents.


Smithtown officials said the passing nor'easter had a major impact on their efforts to cleanup and recover from Hurricane Sandy's damage.

John Valentine, Smithtown's Director of Emergency Management Services, said the highway department under Superintendent Glenn Jorgensen had to quickly change gears on Wednesday, being pulled away from ongoing Hurricane Sandy recovery to an "ice and snow control mission."

"Early on, we recognized we were going to have to deal with those conditions, ice and snow and slush, so we made a decisive switch," Valetine said. "Something that could have been much more damaging was immediately put under control."

The second storm caused crews to lose valuable time as town trucks needed to be brought, different equipment provided for the trucks and workers.

Despite their best efforts, the strong winds and icy mix of the nor`easter has left the town with a larger mess to clean up.

"We saw a lot more hangers, big tree branches that get stuck up in the trees that were picked up by the winds of the nor`easter. We definitely saw a lot more debris," Valentine said.

There were also a number of trees across the Town of Smithtown, damaged by Sandy, that were brought down by strong winds. This adds to the town's mounting clean up tasks.

The most dangerous threat left behind by the storm has been the icy mix on the streets of slush and melting snow, according to Valentine.

"The temperatures are going to drop again and there's still a lot of standing water on the roads. Everyone should use caution. People are starting to take to the streets and as such, we have to remind people we're still in a state of emergency here," Valentine said.

The emergency management director said town crews will continue to work diligently alongside LIPA, teaming up as needed to get roads accessible and power restored. However, unlike Islip Town officials, he commended LIPA's work.

"LIPA has been extremely responsive to anything we've provided them with, including areas that we feel need to be immediately addressed," Valentine said.

He urged residents who may be the only house on their block without power, or one of a few in a neighborhood, to reach out and contact LIPA. Residents can report downed wire or outage to LIPA immediately at 1-800-490-0075 or 631-755-6900.

"You can't assume they know everyone who is out. It's not a reasonable thing to believe. They might bring up an area, but there might be a few spotty residences that don't have power and they need to know that," Valetine said.

The emergency director said he is extremely sympathetic to residents without power, being a local resident who struggled without power until Monday night.

"If you don't have electricity, we're all the bad guys. We can't win," he said.

crazzy November 09, 2012 at 11:19 AM
I hope the Town highway department enjoyed their Holiday on Tuesday!
localguy November 09, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Good morning everyone. Tonight is the 2nd night for the FOOD, CLOTHING and SUPPLIES drive for the VICTIMS OF HURRICANE SANDY at the SAINT JAMES FIREHOUSE ON ROUTE 25A. Please drop off whatever you can donate between the hours of 5pm-8pm tonight. We also will be accepting donations from 8am-12pm tomorrow morning. Here is a list of things that are needed: Winter Clothing Only (coats, hats, glov es, pants, boots, socks) Blankets; Sleeping Bags Duraflame Logs; Firewood Small Cooking Stoves Headlamps; Flashlights; AAA,AA,D,C Batteries Heavy Duty Garbage Bags; Garbage Pails Work Gloves; Rubber Gloves; Latex Gloves Shovels; Snow Shovels; Push Brooms; Mops Scrub Brushes; Buckets; Bleach Clorox Wipes; Paper Towels; Toilet Paper First Aid Supplies; Face Masks; Hand Warmers Baby Food and Supplies Adult/Baby Cough Medicine Easy to Prep/Eat Food; Pet Food; Instant Coffee Carbon Monoxide/Smoke Detectors Gatorade; Water; Juice Hammers; Crowbars; Tools Wheel Barrels; Hand Trucks; Step Ladders Plastic Eating Ware: Dishes, Utensils, Cups I hope to be able to get a truck out to Breezy Point by Saturday afternoon. PLEASE DONATE WHATEVER YOU CAN. THESE PEOPLE STILL NEED SO MUCH HELP AND YOU CAN HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE! PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE SHARE AND REPOST! ALL HELP
Claire Taggart November 09, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I would like to contact you directly regarding this collection. Could I call or email you? Would like to donate but not currently in the area.
P. J. Miller November 09, 2012 at 08:07 PM
The Town Highway Department was not OFF on Tuesday! It was not a scheduled holiday ALL town offices were opened! And even if it was a holiday, the department would have the crews working overtime, just like they do when it is snowing out - at 1AM when we are all home in our warm homes. Highway Dept does an phenomal job. Let's just see it for what it is, we were faced with a disaster and we only have so many crews. I still don't have power but know that they are working on it.
Lady L November 10, 2012 at 06:21 PM
The Hwy Dept has done NOTHING in my area of ST James...it is a mess....dont tell me the nor easter hampered the cleam up, that was a week after Sandy and not one thing was collected prior to the nor easter...my block is still full of incollected debris.....drive down Astor, Cambon, Hillside and you will see piles of cut trees and branches, leaf bags all over the place.....GET YOUR ACT TOGEHTER !!!!!!! Where is Vecchio? Haven't heard a peep from him since the storm.......Next Election remember who was "in charge" when Sandy hit and how unpreparred they were !!!!! "Bob" at the hwy dept is RUDE !!!!! claimes 180 contractors haver been hired to help the clean up....where are they/???????


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