Hurricane Sandy came and went and left a trail of destruction behind in Valley Stream.
The storm toppled hundreds of trees, flooded home and streets, and left thousands of residents and businesses without power. Sandy, which was as its full force Monday night, moved through quicker than expected but the devastation was perhaps more than what people thought would happen.
“It’s a lot worse than anybody expected, even though we were prepared,” said White Street resident Paul Kipp, who looked at the four downed trees, two utility poles, street light, transformer and dozens of wires that crashed to the ground on his short dead-end block.
There are a dozen homes on White Street, and the electric lines running to at least half of those were ripped off when three trees fell together, pushing up sidewalks and pulling down wires. Mayor Ed Fare said it was one of the hardest hit blocks in the entire village.
“Thank God nobody got hurt,” Kipp added. “We’ll get through it.”
Virginia Clavin-Higgins, a village trustee who lives on the block, said after the trees and wires fell, a Nassau County Police officer stopped by to check up on every resident on the street. Clavin-Higgins was particularly concerned about her elderly neighbors, with access to their homes basically cut off.
In the south end of the village, high waters from Jamaica Bay pushed up the streams and flooded some streets, including part of Hungry Harbor Road south of Rosedale Road. Many homes weren’t spared, including the Frosts.
Tuesday afternoon, Michael and Joanne Frost were still pumping out water from the ground level and basement of their split level home. They said those two levels will have to be redone, and many of their possessions are ruined.
Joanne Frost said that during the height of the storm, water was up to the bottom of her front window, and she could hear it gushing. It came from everywhere – the street in front, and the creek behind the house. She said she has experienced some minor floods before, including last year during Tropical Storm Irene. “But it never came from both sides,” she said. “It was water converging from everywhere.”