MAMARONECK, N.Y. – With the hurricane season that starts June 1 predicted to be "extremely active" this year, Mamaroneck is using its experience from the last few storms to better prepare.
Both Mamaroneck village and town have completed debris cleanup and each have few repairs lefts to make. The village spent an estimated $1 million and the town an estimated $250,000 on repairs to buildings, police overtime and, mostly, debris cleanup.
“We have had to develop an expertise in emergency planning and response over the last several years given the floods of 2007, Hurricane Irene , Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Sandy ,” Dan Sarnoff, assistant village manager for Mamaroneck village said. “A byproduct of each incident is that it provides insight into how we are able to respond as a village; what things worked well, what things did not, and how we can improve.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says weather models indicate that there could be as many as 11 hurricanes, up to six of which could be category 3 or above.
The seasonal average is 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three category 3 storms.
“As we saw first-hand with Sandy, it’s important to remember that tropical storm and hurricane impacts are not limited to the coastline," acting NOAA administrator Kathryn Sullivan said in a statement. "Strong winds, torrential rain, flooding, and tornadoes often threaten inland areas far from where the storm first makes landfall.”
The village has done more to keep its rivers, which have caused significant flooding and property damage in the low-lying areas, free of debris. It has also purchased more emergency response equipment and developed an email notification system.
Most importantly, the village has become more proactive in getting those emergency notifications to its residents in advance of the storms. During the 2007 Nor’easter, the village received more than 1,000 calls for assistance. During both Hurricane Irene and Sandy, it received 110 calls, Sarnoff said.
Similarly, the town learned from its experience with Hurricane Sandy that it needed to plan for extended power outages at government offices.
“The Town Center was without power for about eight days after Sandy,” Stephen Altieri, town administrator, said. “That left us having to run the government from the Firehouse in a very barebones fashion.”
As a result, the town is working on developing better backup plans for when it has to move its operations to the firehouse or other generator-equipped locations.
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