I took an aerial tour of Nassau and Suffolk Counties with the United States Coast Guard and other members of the Long Island Congressional delegation today to assess the damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy.
I haven’t seen storm damage this bad in my lifetime here on Long Island. It’s time to restore power and make our roads, transit and drinking water safe as quickly as possible so that residents and businesses can resume their lives as soon as possible. I’m in close contact with federal, state and local officials and am committed to helping make sure that government agencies and utilities like LIPA waste no time in the recovery effort.
In conference calls with FEMA, LIPA and Governor Cuomo’s office today and yesterday, myself and my staff have flagged several of the most urgent issues, including: the need for LIPA to restore electricity as soon as possible; the need for state and federal officials to assist LIPA in clearing local roads; and the need for state and federal officials to assist local cities, towns and villages with contaminated water supplies, especially along the south shore of Nassau County where the storm surge was the strongest.
I also joined my Congressional colleagues on Long Island today in sending a bipartisan letter to House Speaker John Boehner and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi urging them to make funding for post-Sandy relief a top priority when Congress convenes.
“The overwhelming need to act quickly to prevent further human suffering, to restore our districts and so many affected communities and families along the East Coast makes it imperative that hurricane relief and recovery should be the first order of business once Congress reconvenes,” the letter states. “It is critical that Congress act immediately to ensure our neighbors across the Northeast have access to the resources they need to rebuild homes, businesses and communities. We stand ready to work with you, and our colleagues in Congress, towards this aim.”
There are several resources for Long Islanders dealing with the aftermath of Sandy:
- Long Islanders may call 800-621-3362 to register for individual or household-level FEMA assistance.
- Long Islanders may call 211, a number managed by the United Way in partnership with NYS Dept. of Homeland Security, for relief information such as the locations of shelters and other types of assistance.
- The American Red Cross may be reached at 877-733-2767 for access to its shelter and food assistance programs.
- The News 12 Long Island television station is simulcasting on the radio at 1100 AM and 98.3 FM and Newsday.com is subscription-free at this time during storm relief operations.
Carolyn McCarthy is the representative of New York’s Fourth Congressional District. She was first elected in 1996.