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Larchmont Assesses Cost of Irene

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Samir Katen and a group of residents welcomed New York State Assemblyman George Latimer to their roundtable discussion of Tropical Storm Irene as they sipped coffee and read the paper at McDonalds Monday morning.

"I came to listen," said Latimer, who is touring sound shore towns to assess the damage from the storm in order to determine how much state and federal aid will be needed. Latimer said he doesn't yet know what those costs will be, but plans to submit his findings by mid-week.

"To our knowledge, there was no extensive structural damage to any of the homes," Town Administrator Stephen Altieri said. "What we're evaluating now is if there was any impact to our municipal structure."

Latimer, who dropped by the informal group's meeting place unannounced, fielded questions from the seven residents, including Katen, a Village of Mamaroneck resident, who escaped the storm completely unscathed.

Most of his neighbors on Brooke Street did not, thanks to a downed wire on North Barry Avenue that knocked out power for many in the area.

"The Village of Mamaroneck came at 2 a.m. and cleaned the streets, but people were told there would be no power for a week because the wire went down," Katen said. "I sincerely believe they're going to give them power before a week."

In the meantime, Katen opened up his garage door for any of those neighbors who wanted to hook up an electric cable to his home. Three families have taken him up on the offer so far.

At the peak of the storm, Con Edison reported 4,100 customers in the village had no electricity, which amounts to more than half of the homes and businesses in the village. Just 24 hours after the end of the storm, about 2,000 had their power restored, said Village Manager Richard Slingerland. In the town, 600 customers lost power. Larchmont Mayor Josh Mandell couldn't be reached for comment.

While flooding in Washingtonville was the most visible consequence of the storm, 75 to 80 mph gusts of wind knocked out power early and late Sunday.

Mike Berger, a Larchmont resident, lost power around 9 a.m. Sunday. After getting it back at 5 p.m., he lost it again around 10 p.m. and remained without power Monday night.

Tom Semaya, also a Larchmont resident, said he had no problems during the storm, but lost power Monday morning.

While certain areas near the Brook in the town experienced flooding, eight inches of rainfall and a significant storm surge hit the village the hardest.

"The flooding was extensive, but not as bad as 2007," said Slingerland, who added that nearly one-third of a mile along Mamaroneck Avenue flooded. While river flooding impacted the Washingtonville neighborhood, a three-to-four foot storm surge off the Long Island Sound and tidal flooding impacted the Shore Acres and Orienta neighborhoods.

Between 6 p.m. Saturday and mid-day Sunday, the rainfall had filled the Larchmont Reservoir's 216-inch storm water storage capacity. Storm water continued to flow over the top of the dam and through the drain pipe Monday, which wasn't an issue, Slingerland said, because there was no flooded areas left in the village.

All three municipalities will look to submit claims for state and federal aid, which village Mayor Norman Rosenblum said will be easier to have granted because they declared a state of emergency.

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