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Tobay: Cleanup Will Take Days

Damage in some areas 'devastating'; property damage reported throughout Town.

Town of Oyster Bay cleanup crews are busy at work after winds topping 80 miles per hour tore through the area bringing trees and power lines down.

"It was what we call a 'toupee warning,'" joked Deputy DPW Commissioner Len Symons of the high winds that so far uprooted almost 1,000 trees in TOBAY, let alone hairpieces.

"We have 100 trees that came down on power lines that we can't touch until LIPA gets to them," said DPW Commissioner Justin McCaffrey Tuesday. McCaffrey and many on the TOBAY team stayed overnight at the emergency center in Syosset prepping for damage control after Sandy left the area.

Officials said that although the damage is significant, they are thankful for the lack of injuries or casualties reported.

"Pretty much everything south of Merrick Road is devastated," said Town Clerk Steve Labriola of his neighborhood in Massapequa. "But it's all property damage."

So far, no injuries or deaths have been reported within the Town as a result of the storm. Nassau County Police reported a single death in Roslyn when an 84-year-old man went outside to move his car and was struck by a tree limb. The only other reported injury was a Garden City Park man who severed his hand after mistaking an explosive for a candle, police said.

Though crews and officials are currently counting their blessings, they estimated it would be a few days until roads are safely passable again.

"Thursday is a good target that we're keeping," said McCaffrey. "Right now, we're going down every road and clearing at least a lane so people can get through."

Flood damage on the north and south shores of the town has also become a worry. Officials said that though the bay side would be mostly a cleanup effort, many marinas and ramps remain submerged.

In Massapequa, seven working fires were reported Monday before midnight. According to McCaffrey, flooding in the streets held up fire trucks so long that some houses burned to the ground. Two trucks were essentially destroyed trying to get to the scene, said McCaffrey. He added that the National Guard had to rescue fire crews who were standing on top of their trucks on the impassable roads.

Bayville was one of the most negatively affected areas of the Town when storm surges flooded the area. McCaffrey reported that the marina in Oyster Bay was underwater and many launch ramps were completely submerged, as in Massapequa.

The emergency hotline is still open for TOBAY residents to call at (516) 677-5757 for blocked roads and other emergencies.

Dan October 30, 2012 at 08:53 PM
My thanks to all the TOB employees and leadership during our time of difficulty. Positive attitudes and words make a difference and quality leadership shows. Thank you and keep up the good work.
sport fanatic November 01, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Thank you. As a town employee who lives in the town, i can say helping neighbors during very difficult times is our number one priority. God bless.
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