Dear Acting Superintendent of Highways Michael Murphy and Town Supervisor Romaine:
My community of the first council district (Three Village and Greater Port Jefferson area) appears to be still 95 percent snow bound and I must ask the question two days after the blizzard hit...WHY?
Understanding that this nearly 30 inches snow fall is perhaps the worst in record – there still appears to be a complete and systematic breakdown in the ability of the Town Highway Department to respond to this crisis.
At this time I don't see a clear plan (nor proper preparation) by the leadership of the Town Highway Department given the known nature of this storm prior to it hitting our island and township.
It appears that we need an emergency meeting to clarify the continuing lack of clear plans to rectify this crisis and get to the bottom of equipment and manpower needs for clearing snow as soon as possible from our local town roadways.
We need to fully assess all town, county, state, and maybe national ability – as well as private means – to clear these local town roadways.
My own local neighborhood still lies buried, frozen and snowbound and my area was without electric (and therefore without heat as well) until very late last night.
This is a public safety issue as local first responders – fire departments and ambulances cannot get through to help those who may need their assistance throughout our township. It appears a number of doctors and nurses who live in my community who still cannot get to the hospitals to help those in need even at this moment – as their local town roadways remain unplowed.
I have heard of brave teams of local residents using their own snow blowers and plows to clear our town roadways. For their efforts we should all humbly thank them, however this is not the proper governmental method to assist our local residents.
We need to reconnect as a Town Board with our Highway Department in an immediate emergency session and enlist whatever aide possible to coordinate with private citizens, county, state, nation as needed...as this tragedy does not appear this morning to be getting any better at the moment.
Brookhave Town Councilman, 1st District