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Local Schools Get Ready for Hurricane Sandy

Generators are being tested, drained cleared and alerts turned on as storm approaches.

Students who are hoping Hurricane Sandy will wipe out Monday's classes will likely be disappointed. Deer Park and North Babylon school districts are already preparing for the 'Frankenstorm' arrival and aftermath.

"The district’s buildings and grounds crew is ready for the arrival of the storm," Deer Park School Superintendent Eva Demyen said.

"Generators throughout the district are being tested and Robert Frost Middle School is prepared to accommodate guests for the Red Cross as an official emergency shelter, should the need arise."

In addition, the district will deploy additional security officers to survey the district and report any possible areas of damage or flooding at the schools, Demyen said.

The prep work has begun in North Babylon, as well.

Kevin Warren, director of facilities in the district, has met with buildings and grounds personnel to mediate effects of the storm, including the removal of debris from parking lot drains, the clearing of roof drains and the securing of loose objects, Superintendent Patricia Godek said.

All vehicles, including the tractor/bucket loader and building gas storage tanks, are being topped off, as well.

"All necessary equipment is being readied for use. All generators have been tested and are in working condition," she said.

While the Town has not issued an evacuation alert, Godek said that North Babylon High School, which is a Red Cross evacuation site, is readied for use by the community. 

Allen Miller, the district's director of transportation, has ensured that all buses are fueled in case of the loss of electricity, she added.

Also, flood gates for Elder Lake are open and will remain open throughout the storm emergency. 

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Should the schools need to close, North Babylon officials will use the district's automated notification system to alert parents.

As of Friday, the forecast calls for Long Island to get between 4 and 6 inches of rain with the South Shore possibly seeing more. According to the National Weather Service, Long Island has a 30-40 percent chance of getting tropical storm-force winds. Gusts of 50 mph have been measured 300 miles from the storm's eye. 

The NWS in New York warns significant coastal flooding is possible.

Hurricane Sandy has already been blamed for 21 deaths in the Caribbean.


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