Valley Stream hit hard by Hurricane Sandy

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Brian Belle, who has lived on Fenimore Street for eight years, had some damage to his car from a fallen tree. The tree fell from across the street, right in between his house and the house of his neighbors, Charles and Arlene Sollin. It landed on one of his vehicles, but said he didn’t think the car was totaled. “I don’t think the weight of the tree is on it,” he said. “We got lucky.”

However, Belle said he would have to rent a car until the tree is cleared and his regular car is fixed. The tree also knocked a gutter off of his home.

For Belle, he said the biggest challenge was losing power, as he has two sons, 6 and 3. “That was tough, trying to keep these kids occupied,” he said, adding that they played a lot of board games.

A tree fell onto the home of the Peritore family on Emerson Place. Sal Peritore said he was in the kitchen in the front of the house when it went down. He knew it was going when he heard the ground ripping. “Five seconds later, boom!” he said. “The whole house shook.”

Fortunately, he said, the tree was so close to the house that it didn’t pick up any momentum before it hit, and there was no damage inside.

Jennifer Pryer, who lives on West Maple Street, was one of many people in the area who was in search of cell phone reception. She said her house didn’t sustain any damage, but lost power in the early evening on Monday. “Everybody’s fine,” she said. “The little cosmetic things to the houses, that can be taken care of.”

A tree also fell on a Public Safety vehicle which was traveling down Dover Street. Fare said it cracked the windshield and damaged part of the front of the car. The officer who was driving was not injured.

Several trees fell in the Mill Brook neighborhood, including at the green between Mill Road and Old Central Avenue. It was one of the popular spots for Valley Streamers out taking pictures of Sandy’s damage. One tree blocked the street and dug up a root base so high it dwarfed the residents who stood next to it.

Village officials say that the cleanup will take weeks. The first priority is clearing the streets and trees that have fallen on homes. When that’s done, crews will turn their attention to the parks. Highway Supervisor Tim Leahy said the village’s flagship park, Hendrickson, was particularly devastated. “As important as it is to us,” he said, “we have to take care of residential areas first.”

Brian Croce contributed to this story.

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