Written by Gabriella Iannetta Friday, 09 November 2012 00:00
Glen Cove, along with the rest of Long Island, was hit by the now infamous Hurricane Sandy on Monday Oct. 29. The well-known “Frankenstorm” was predicted a few days before Monday and received its nickname due to having both the characteristics of a tropical storm and features of a cold front. The storm took an unusual turn inland from the coast because of the low pressure coming from Canada, making the devastation on the North Shore both unusual and more powerful than expected. The storm was a mixture of the most uncommon elements to ever occur in the Long Island and New York City area in history.
The natural disaster has taken a toll on local families who are still living with no power, and relief teams have been working non-stop to bring the city back to normalcy. The Red Cross contributed its help to Glen Cove by providing a disaster relief center at the Glen Cove High School immediately, while school was out - a place to charge electronic devices and rest. East Island was one of the most blighted areas by the storm, with waves higher than 20 feet coming in from the Long Island Sound and flooding most homes and streets on the island. Enormous trees were completely uprooted and sprawled over front lawns. Police enforced the bridge entrance, and only allowed residents to enter by checking IDs, beginning the following morning.
Live electrical wires were also a major concern during the hurricane, leaving a few homes harmed, but luckily none were reported to have been completely lost to fire.
The first days after the storm were dangerous days to be on the road. Cars were subjected to driving under fallen wires and weaving around downed trees on common roads. Roads have been lined with LIPA trucks, sanitation trucks and police vehicles, with officers working around the clock to ensure roads are safe. Mayor Suozzi announced on the Glen Cove website on Nov. 1 that it would be seven to 10 days until power is back in most places.
Incredibly, the mail was still delivered on time on Tuesday, Nov. 6, which demonstrates how determined and hardworking the Glen Cove employees are. Police officers have worked many hours of overtime for the community between directing traffic, assessing damage, and monitoring gas lines. LIPA has worked around the clock getting power back, and has made substantial progress since the initial storm, to the present day. Places with underground wires or no wires down still had damage due to substations powered by main lines. Downed wires and trees that had fallen onto main roads were a top priority, along with critical care facilities. Neighborhoods by Burger King and the hospital had received power back as soon as Wednesday.
Even with some power back, it is gas that has been a real concern for residents. Mobil and Hess are a few examples of gas stations with lines that have been averaging a wait of almost four-plus hours. Cars lined up could be seen down from Hess past the fire department, and from Mobil all the way into Sea Cliff. Many residents not only need gas for their cars, but have been using it for generators to heat their homes. Gas has been rationed to $50 per customer or car, and has been strictly enforced. Some patrons are waiting on lines or leaving cars unattended on lines before gas has even been delivered.
A few local restaurants stayed in business to feed families in need the Tuesday after the storm. The following morning, Bagel Café worked on generators and gas ovens to constantly produce fresh bagels, with lines averaging an hour-plus wait time. Henry’s was also opened for service to provide a place to go and eat, for families without power or food. In the evening, Forest Pizza did the same, by providing warm pizza pies for families without working kitchens. Mayor Ralph Suozzi and former mayor Tom Suozzi were spotted in Forest Pizza that evening, and Tom announced, “We should all give the owners a round of applause for being open and feeding our community during this time!” Patrons clapped with gratitude in the packed pizzeria. The Downtown Café offered a cozy and warm place to grab a drink, after a stressful storm.
The city is finally finding its way back to a regular routine. While most traffic lights have been fixed, the LIRR Oyster Bay line is also in service as of Sunday, Nov. 4. Please check the schedule for new hourly train times. More and more businesses are opening back up after a week hiatus.
If you see LIPA employees, firemen, EMTs, hospital employees or police officers, please thank them for all their long hours and hard work.