Four days after Hurricane Sandy blew through the South Shore with vicious tidal surges and winds gusting upwards of 90 miles per hour, many living along the coast in Islip Town are now cleaning up and assessing the damage.
“If you just have lost power, like me, be grateful,” Islip Supervisor Tom Croci told Patch, as he toured flood-ravaged homes along Sequams Lane Center in West Islip. “Many people down here have lost their homes. It’s devastating.”
The Town’s Mobile Command Unit was set up on Thursday on the West Islip street that was covered in mud and still had minor flooding along the portion of the road that sits just off the Great South Bay.
In walking the street that is bordered by canals on the east and west, Croci said several homes were destroyed and are likely uninhabitable.
“There are boats and even a dumpster from the Babylon Yacht Club (located two blocks east on Eaton Lane) that were moved by the water into the homes of folks here,” he said.
Croci said since Sandy moved out on Monday, Town officials have covered every hamlet to assess the damage and prioritize the cleanup effort.
“Where we could, we removed tree limbs and downed trees across the Town, with communities including Holbrook, Ronkonkoma, Brentwood and Central Islip seeing the most tree damage,” he said.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for Islip officials is coordinating with LIPA to remove those trees that have fallen into power lines.
“We know their resources are stretched thin but they are working well with us,” Croci added.
As Sandy approached, the supervisor issued a mandatory evacuation order for those living within the Category 1 Flood Zone, which covers most areas south of Montauk Highway and Fire Island. While most heeded the warning, a few did not.
“Our flood maps proved to be accurate and provided us some good information,” he said. “For those that did not evacuate, I guess they have become desensitized by watching reports of past storms over the years. But this one was unlike any we have seen.”
In addition to helping residents across the Town recover from Sandy, Croci said that Long Island MacArthur Airport is operational having reopened on Wednesday.