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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hurricane Sandy slams Bellmore-Merrick
(Page 2 of 5)
Jeff Wilson/Herald
A flooded home in south Bellmore.

One homeowner who lives beside Levy-Lakeside Elementary School, just south of Merrick Road, said white-capped waves lapped across the lake that the school’s backfield had become. On Florence Street, a block south of the school, residents reported that a small white BMW floated down the street, landing on the curb in front of a house just west of Beach Street. At the marinas to the south off Hewlett Avenue, floodwaters sent speedboats wrapped in white plastic over the boatyards’ fences and into the front yards of nearby homes.

In the middle of the night on Monday, the Merrick Fire Department sent a boat crew through south Merrick’s streets, which had become rivers at that point, to check on residents who stayed in their homes through the storm. But, in a single boat, there was there was little to nothing that the firefighters could do to evacuate residents who were stranded in their homes, many of which were surrounded by water.

The day after the storm, homeowners were seen dragging their soaked belongings from their garages and lower-level family rooms, while sump pumps were draining saltwater out of basements and crawl spaces. The south end of the canal leading out of Cammans Pond to Merrick Bay was full of Jet skis and floating docks that had broken away from nearby homes.

Waiting for Sandy

As the storm approached on Monday, Bellmore-Merrick residents could only sit in their homes, waiting anxiously, hoping for the best.

"We're bracing ourselves for what I believe will be called the storm of the century," said south Merrick resident Gary Small on Monday morning. "We did everything we could and now just have to wait for it to pass. So far it's windy as all hell, and the streets around us are starting to flood from overflowing canals. Hewlett Avenue, south of Merrick Road, is getting flooded."

Jeff Gold, an attorney from south Bellmore with an office on Merrick Road in Bellmore, said the weather did not deter him from getting into work on Monday, but he was worried. "That's the advantage of hiring local attorneys and staff," Gold said. "I'm more concerned about flooding tonight."

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