Hurricane Irene has come and gone, and while it's certainly left it's mark upon the Massapequas in the form of downed trees and power outages, the general consensus among local residents appears to be one of relief that the damage left in the storm's wake wasn't worse.
Irene, classified as a Category One hurricane, tore through the Eastern Coast of the United States this past weekend, causing wide-spread concern among locals. Certain areas of Long Island, an area predicted by weather experts to be particularly hit hard by the storm, was even evacuated by authorities as a precaution.
While Irene didn't seem to pack quite the punch as many feared it would, opinion of residents of the response by local government and utilities to the aftermath of the hurricane varied.
Massapequa Park resident Carol McQuoid found Irene more spooky than dangerous.
"Oh, it was terrible....it was scary," she said. "I live in my son's house, and they weren't home. They were at work when it hit, so I was by myself, and everything was rattling. I didn't know what to do."
That Saturday, McQuoid lost power, and didn’t regain it until the next morning. However, some friends of hers fared even worse in that department, citing a neighbor who was still without power as of Tuesday afternoon. However, overall, she feels the response to Irene by both the Village of Massapequa and the Long Island Power Authority was excellent.
"I thought they did fantastic," she said. "They're really good...they're cleaning up like crazy. The mayor [James Altadonna] and everything were fantastic. Plus, LIPA got the power back on pretty quickly."
Altadonna said things were improving Tuesday, one day after he criticized LIPA for there post storm response.
"We're making progres," he said "They have a dedicated crew assigned to Massapequa Park." The mayor expressed optimism that roads between Sunrise Highway and Merrick road would be cleared trees and wires by the end of Wednesday, while streets south of Merrick Road would be clead by midday Wednesday.
As far as hurricanes go, Massapequa Park resident Michael Torres felt Irene was all bark and little bite.
"Well, actually, it was kind of light for me," he said. "We didn't lose power...they only thing it did for me was break off a few branches on that tree there. That's the extent of the damage. The last time we had a big wind storm, we lost power for three or four days, and that wasn't even a hurricane."
Torres also thought that both the Village and LIPA lived up to their responsibilities for the clean-up of Irene.
"I think they did a good job, considering," he said. "After all, it's a hurricane...a lot of trees and power lines came down. They can't do it all overnight. It's going to take time."
However, Terry McPartland of North Massapequa is still feeling the sting of hurricane Irene as of Tuesday afternoon.
"We lost power Saturday night, then it came back, but then the transformer across the street blew up. Two blocks lost power, and they're still out as of now," he said. "Luckily, the hurricane didn't hit as hard as they said it would, but being without power this long is difficult."
While McPartland feels his neighborhood cleanup was effectively handled by the Town of Oyster Bay, he believes LIPA has completely dropped the ball in terms of their responsibilities.
"Town of Oyster Bay is incredible...their response was great," he said. "LIPA...I don't hear anything from anybody, when you call, all you get is the automated system, I send emails, and I get nothing back. Not too happy with them."