Tropical Storm Henri dumped several inches of rain and triggered flash flood warnings in Garden City over the weekend, but spared the area from high winds as its track turned further east than originally expected. As the storm approached, all department heads and supervisors readied vehicles and equipment. All contractor work sites and equipment were secured, along with any village-related fieldwork sites. The village coordinated with other governmental agencies, including the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management and PSEGLI.
Village Administrator Ralph Suozzi provided Mayor Cosmo Veneziale with an update regarding the village’s readiness, which was then communicated to the entire board of trustees. Mayor Veneziale personally thanks the police department, fire department, recreation department, sanitation department, Public Works and village administration for the coordinated effort during the storm.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) Highway Department and Mechanic Shop looked over several pumps, chainsaws, trucks and pay loaders to make sure they were all in good working order. In addition, all equipment got fueled up on Friday.
“We were prepared for flooding, downed trees or anything else Mother Nature threw at us,” DPW Deputy Superintendent Domenick Stanco said.
Street department employees were called in to pump out catch basins at various areas throughout the village that were flooding streets. Basins were at and overcapacity in some locations. Crews also put out barricades in flooded areas to close off streets in case the storm intensified. On Friday and again on Sunday crews cleaned debris in front of catch basin inlets.
The fire department was able to rescue several occupants who were trapped in their vehicles and assisted the police department in preventing countless other vehicles from becoming trapped in flooded sections of the village. On top of the flooding condition calls, the fire department responded to 13 alarms over the weekend.
“We were coordinating and preparing for the past week in anticipation of the hurricane hitting Long Island. The chief’s office attended numerous Zoom conferences with the County and we were kept up to date with the path of the storm,” Chief Devyn Moody said.
Numerous resources were made available with the help of Nassau County and the Office of Emergency Management. All apparatus and equipment was refueled and operational in the event of an emergency.
“As with every storm/natural disaster that may occur, members were stationed at the firehouses for emergency response throughout the Village in case an emergency presented itself,” Moody added.
Between Aug. 21 and 23, police officers responded to 29 storm-related calls, including a transformer fire, an accident, a house fire, dislodged manhole covers, flooding conditions, disabled vehicles, burglary alarms, fire alarms and fallen tree limbs. Further, the water department was also on site to monitor and maintain all village well sites in the case of power failure.
The storm tracked further east than originally predicted, sparing the area from high winds and downed trees. In fact, only one tree fell as a result of the storm, on Clinton Road near Pell Terrace. “
We actually had a fairly quiet weekend,” Recreation and Parks Commissioner Paul Blake said.
Crews spent Friday and Saturday preparing for the storm by securing anything that could be blown away, and by preparing equipment and vehicles for the storm. Pool staff removed all umbrellas from tables and stacked chairs. Recreation facilities were closed on Sunday as per Commissioner Blake.
—Submitted by the Village of Garden City