Valley Stream hit hard by Hurricane Sandy
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As water was receding in front of her house by mid-afternoon on Tuesday, the street remained flooded a few hundred feet south, and several cars were stuck in the roadway. The smell of sewage and salt water lingered throughout the neighborhood.
“Nobody expected this,” Michael Frost said, adding that he will soon begin the cleanup of his home, where he and his wife have lived for 18 years. Other neighbors spent the day hosing down dirt from their driveways or cleaning up leaves and branches while still trying to make sense of the situation.
On Pine Lane, Lenny Singh had a tree crash through his home. A large branch broke off and slammed into the peak of his home, breaking through the roof and into a closet at the top of the stairs. His home was littered with branches, pieces of sheetrock, glass and shingles.
Singh said he wasn’t home when it happened, but said the damage occurred between 5 and 6 p.m., based on what neighbors told him. It was those neighbors who came together to cut up another tree that fell from the corner of his property into the road, taking down wires. The residents of Pine Lane removed the wires and chopped up the tree, which was later carted away by a village work crew.
Fare said that village crews began removing trees immediately from the roads. He said a total of 165 trees fell into roadways, and his workers would remove any ones that weren’t entangled in wires. The rest, he said, would have to wait for LIPA’s attention.
Numerous trees also fell in village parks, bringing the total number above 200.
Village Clerk Bob Barra reported that there was a utility crew from Wisconsin in Valley Stream, contracted by LIPA to start restoring power in the area. About 90 percent of customers in the village lost power. On Tuesday, most traffic lights including all along Sunrise Highway, Merrick Road and Rockaway Avenue were out, along with parts of several main roads.
Sanitation crews hit the streets on Tuesday morning to remove some of the smaller branches, as well as any debris that ended up on the streets. During the storm, the Fire Department responded to 175 calls, Fare reported. Most were for wires for burning and there were a couple of car fires.