Two McCulloch Drive residents woke up to a flooded home after a water main break on Vanderbilt Motor Parkway flooded areas of Commack and Dix Hills on Sunday morning.
Bill and Barbara Brocco said they knew something wasn't quite right when they awoke to the sounds of payloaders traveling along Vanderbilt Motor Parkway towards Commack Middle School at approximately 8 a.m. Sunday.
However, it wasn't until Barbara Brocco stepped out to get the Sunday newspaper that she spotted the problem.
"The water was just like a river, and of course it was going right down my driveway," she said.
A 12-inch water pipeline near the intersection of McCulloch Drive and Vanderbilt Motor Parkway burst, sending thousands of gallons down local roadways and flooding Commack Middle School's parking lot.
The broken water main filled the Brocco's garage and basement with several feet of water. White sandbags dropped off by Huntington Town workers on Sunday after they rushed to save Commack Middle School, sat on standby after the damage was already done.
"Our basement is destroyed. Our hot water heater, the furnace, my car - everything is gone," Bill Brocco said.
The couple said their 2006 Toyota Avalon parked in the garage was completely submerged, and will be one of the toughest loses to face.
"That's what bothers me most. I was going to give it to my son to make his life easier, now I have to buy a new car," Bill Brocco said. "I promised him."
His wife was visibly upset about a suitcase containing photos of her recently deceased father that was floating among the flooded rooms. The couple had attempted to wade through rushing water to save them, but could not reach it.
"When you see the water coming in like that, you feel helpless. I can't imagine what people hit by Sandy when through, watching their houses wash away," he said.
While the Dix Hills homeowners lost a tree, shed and a section of fence during Sandy, they had no flooding damage.
"We did okay with Sandy, but we had no time to prepare for this. No time at all. The water was coming in faster than we could act," Bill Brocco said.
He felt the storm and its aftermath potentially led to the water main break and severely impacted the local flooding. The Broccos said large payloaders, dump trucks and other cleanup crews have been speeding along Vanderbilt Motor Parkway over recent weeks to aid the Sandy recovery effort, they believe placing stress on the roadway and underlying infastructure.
Bill Brocco said the town has yet to clear debris from Hurricane Sandy, which clogged local storm sewers, and prevented the water from safely draining away from his house.
However, he didn't blame the Town of Huntington for a failure to cleanup - but quite the opposite.
"Everyone is trying, the Town is trying as there is a lot of damage. As much as this is a loss, everyone is doing the best they can," Bill said.
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