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Isaias cleanup begins in Valley Stream

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Cleanup in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias began Wednesday morning in Valley Stream as PSEG Long Island reported that power for more than 4,000 residents in the village and surrounding unicorporated areas had been affected.  

While exact outage figures were no longer available, it is likely that hundreds of residents remained without electricity, with restoration times currently estimated for Friday afternoon. PSEG reported late on Tuesday that the tropical storm had been one of the strongest to hit the area in recent years, and that some outages could last for an "extended time."

In one of the harder hit areas, roughly half a dozen trees on Derby Street had fallen, with power lines torn from multiple homes lying in the street. Additionally, the road was partially blocked by a large fallen tree. A resident standing outside said that he saw village crews clear some debris, chopping up portions of a tree that had fallen onto a home and clearing a part of the road. Trees entangled in power lines, he said, were not touched. As of 9 a.m. on Wednesday PSEG crews had arrived on the scene to begin work on repairing the power lines.

Mayor Ed Fare reported that more than 100 trees including large branches had fallen in the neighborhood, including parks, which were closed as cleanup crews focused on removing debris from residential streets and sidewalks. Additionally, the Valley Stream Fire Department was dispatched to more than 100 calls throughout Tuesday, with two to three reported minor injuries for cuts and bruises.  All refused medical attention, he said.

In addition to downed power lines, sidewalks and a some houses suffered  structural damage  from uprooted trees and falling debris. Village cleanup crews, which include members of the Highway and Parks Department, Fare said, were being rotated to  avoid fatigue and injury. Sanitation Department workers had also been dispatched on Tuesday evening to help clear debris blocking streets. Trees entangled in power lines, Fare said, would have to wait for PSEG crews to arrive before they are removed.

"Our DPW, highway, sanitation, parks and support staff were well prepared," Fare said. "I'm proud of them."