Lesko, Fiore-Rosenfeld Survey Damage in Three Village

Strong's Neck and Old Field were hit hard by Hurricane Irene.

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko and Councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld on Tuesday surveyed the storm damage in Three Village, saying the north shore of Brookhaven sustained pretty harsh damage – particularly in Old Field and Strong's Neck.

In Strong's Neck, Fiore-Rosenfeld estimated about 300 LIPA customers remained without power as of Tuesday afternoon, and downed trees were numerous – including one that fell around 10 a.m. Sunday morning and still entirely blocked the road at the corner of Oak Road and Bluff Lane. Dyke Road, the main road in and out of Strong's Neck, flooded to the point where it was under 18 inches to two feet of water in some places. Some in the community still rely on well water, and without electricity, those residents are also without water in their homes. Lesko had ordered a on Saturday.

"We know we're probably a somewhat isolated group ... but we would like some sort of update from LIPA," said Ellen Papadopoulos, a 17-year resident of Strong's Neck who evacuated after the order came through.

Susan Michaels lost a large tree in her back yard in Strong's Neck – which crushed the kennel which normally houses the one police dog and one retired police dog her husband Kenneth works with in his position as a police officer operating a canine unit. Neither dog was in the kennel at the time.

"It was pretty old ... It was a pretty good tree," said Michaels, whose garage also sustained damage from a limb that punctured its roof.

Strong's Neck Civic Association president Jackie Rudman complimented the town's response in the area.

"Our town's people were really wonderful, and Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld has been in contact with us constantly," she said. "The town was out here with payloaders as soon as the rain stopped."

RELATED: Brookhaven Establishes Drop-Off Areas for Brush Debris

In Old Field, more than half of the 408 households remained without power as of Wednesday morning, according to LIPA's Storm Center website. The Old Field lighthouse, which also serves as village hall, was running on a generator. Trustee Stephen Shybunko said the village had prepared ahead of time by mobilizing CERT – the Community Emergency Response Team – to pool resources like tools and equipment, and said the village had already contracted with landscapers to clear the roads. The Setauket Fire Department drove through the community to encourage voluntary evacuation, but there was no official order from the town.

On a positive note, Shybunko said, the stood up to the hurricane.

"It took it well," he said. "It doesn't look like we had any erosion."

Lesko extended the town's state of emergency until 1 p.m. Wednesday.

"We'll learn some good lessons after this," he said.

Fiore-Rosenfeld had also visited West Meadow Beach earlier in the week, saying the area held up to storm damage better than he had expected.

"It was flooded for one day," he said. "It's bone dry right now. It wasn't supposed to sustain hurricane flooding, but it did."


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