Long Beach prepares for Hurricane Sandy
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“We’re still hoping for the best, but expecting the worst,” Schnirman said. “We’re monitoring the storm very closely, and we are coordinating with the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, LIPA and local schools. The city’s preparations are underway — we’ve already held a series of preparation and response meetings, and we’re preparing to initiate our city’s response plan.”
Officials said that it has yet to be determined if a mandatory evacuation notice will be issued. But with approximately 30 percent of Long Beach residents estimated to stay in the city despite an evacuation order, Schnirman said that officials are taking precautions.
“Assuming that there is no [mandatory] evacuation, what we are going do to is make sure people have what they need if they do stay behind,” Schnirman said.
The city has stockpiled 4,000 sandbags for residents, which are available at City Hall at 1 W. Chester St., and at the Long Beach Police Department. An additional 5,000 sandbags have been ordered as well, Schnirman said, since the city’s existing supply is moving fast.
“Crews are out currently and will be out all weekend preparing the city’s infrastructure for the potential storm,” Schnirman said. “We’re building 8-foot berms on the beach and sending crews around to clean out storm drains and catch basins to prevent flooding.”
City officials are asking residents to secure windows; bring in or tie down outdoor furnishings and decorations, and unplug appliances in low-lying areas.
“We’re advising folks to clean out drains and their own gutters to help alleviate potential flooding,” Schnirman said.
As the storm approaches, Schnirman said that the city will notify residents via its Swift911 notification system (residents may sign up by visiting www.longbeachny.gov; the city’s storm preparedness and evacuation guide is also available). Resident can also call the city's storm hotline at 431-1000, ext. 1.
Additionally, the city will update residents regularly on the city's website and its Facebook (www.facebook.com/longbeachnewyork?fref=ts) and Twitter pages.