Cleaning up following Sunday's tropical storm won't be a quick or easy process – but along the way, the town will record expenses and Brookhaven will be eligible for FEMA reimbursement, supervisor Mark Lesko said Sunday.
Because a state of emergency was declared in New York State before the storm hit, Lesko said, the town can receive reimbursements from FEMA for expenses incurred during the aftermath.
Cleanup began with what Lesko described as a "push and clear" approach. First, crews from the highway, parks, and waste management departments will push large debris and downed trees off to the side of the roadway, so traffic can pass through more easily. Then, they will return to clear the debris off the side of the roads.
Brookhaven town called its parks, highway, and waste management staff into action shortly before 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Concurrently, Lesko said, LIPA and National Grid will assess the extent of the damage to power lines.
Before either LIPA or the town crews could proceed, though, Lesko said police and fire crews performed a life safety evaluation.
"The police and fire departments make an assessment as to if anyone’s in danger and obviously that takes priority to remove those folks from those situations," he said.
"Residents need to know, though, there’s a lot of damage out there," he added. "It’s not going to happen overnight to get this cleaned up and get power turned on."
While major flooding in areas like Port Jefferson Village, Patchogue, Strong's Neck and Cedar Beach was reported during and immediately after the storm, those areas were not as severely affected as Mastic Beach has been, Lesko said.
"On the south shore, pretty much every community has its concerns ... Mastic Beach is the one that I’m really, really worried about," he said.