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County Update: 17 Rescued From Fire Island With 10 Pets

In other county updates, over 1,800 housed in county shelters during height of Hurricane Sandy.

A total of 17 people and 10 pets were rescued from Fire Island on Tuesday, after Hurricane Sandy swept across the region and left a trail of devastation in her wake.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone reported that the Fire Island rescue, which brought residents of Cherry Grove and their pets to safety, was coordinated with the Suffolk County police department, Islip Town, search and rescue teams, FINS, and the United States Coast Guard.

In addition, the county conducted an air surveillance operation over Fire Island to assess damage and needs. In other news, all county roads were cleared on Tuesday by the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, except for County Road 67, as requested by the Suffolk County Police Department.

Bellone has directed the Suffolk County DPW crews to work with towns and assist with tree removal to expedite the process.

Suffolk County is also working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to secure emergency meals and distribution.

The National Guard, Bellone said, worked hand-in-hand with county officals to ensure residents in flooded areas did not return to their homes before high tide on Tuesday; in addition, the National Guard and other military assets have been deployed to the area.

Residents across Suffolk County, Bellone said, flocked to county shelters, which were manned with the help of Red Cross volunteers during Hurricane Sandy: At the height of the storm, over 1800 were safely sheltered.

In other updates:

  • Suffolk County bus transportation is suspended for Wednesday.
  • Suffolk County Parks remain closed until further notice.
  • Suffolk County Health Centers open on Wednesday include locations in Shirley, Riverhead, Southampton and the Riverhead Mental Health Clinic. Patients should call their respective clinics, to confirm that the clinics are open.
  • Suffolk County facilities closed Wednesday include the North County Complex, legislative building, civil service building, labor department, cepartment of health services, telecommunications division, and the methadone clinic. Suffolk County employees should follow the directives of their department heads.
highhatsize November 04, 2012 at 03:35 PM
I remember a video in the aftermath of Katrina in which a helicopter approached a man trapped with his dog on the roof of his home surrounded by 10' of water. When the helicopter rescuers told him that they couldn't take his dog, the man just shook his head and turned away, preferring to share his dog's fate rather than to abandon him. If we really want to avoid unnecessary rescues, we should put in place some plan to provide shelter to pets as well. I wonder how many of those Fire Island folks would have stayed put had that option been available. People won't abandon their pets. Emergency services should take this reality into consideration when planning for catastrophes.
Scotty November 04, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Wow--and to think I defend New Yorkers online all the time, specifically when it comes to their 'compassion and caring' for others. I'll have to ensure I specifically refer to New York CITY and leave off Long Islanders from now on. What a bunch of bellyachers! IF you're a first responder, then it's the JOB you chose to do! You didn't sign up TO pick and choose just which 'deserving' person you were going to rescue. Your job is to save lives, period! If you don't want to do yours, then quit, get the hell out--there'll be a thousand other genuinely compassionate souls waiting to fill your spot--who DON'T make judgments on whether a life is WORTH rescuing. People do stupid things every day--hiking into mountains unprepared and falling down them. Helicopters, climbers, rescuers go in and bring them out. Boaters do incredibly stupid things every single day, bucking the tides --including BWI's, and yet the Coast Guard is out there AT RISK rescuing them. Yet you'd blame some poor soul who is terrified to death of a major storm bearing down on them and ONLY wants to stay put inside the only security they've ever known for 'risking' the lives of first responders? Stay home then. DON'T risk your lives. Who the hell needs you? The next team will go out--whether it's to a drunk driver crashing his car into a power line with the electricity dancing all over the highway or some maniac with a gun. You like THAT better? Or other drunks narrowly missing mowing him down? Maybe so...
Scotty November 04, 2012 at 04:29 PM
@highhatsize--I remember that too! It broke my heart. And the animal rescuers who then went into the flood waters by boat later specifically TO get the abandoned and dying animals are incredible heroes to my mind. THEY risked their lives to bring out hundreds of animals left on roof tops and porches, some even tied up - unable to swim to safety even after the storm had passed so were starving to death. It was heart-rending. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other organizations have long been struggling to put into place human AND pet rescue but are stymied at every turn. The idea is slowly gaining foothold though--knowing as we do that people will not abandon their beloved pets even in the face of death. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/09/0921_050921_disaster_pet_tips.html http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/katrinas-animal-rescue/introduction/2561/
LOU November 08, 2012 at 01:44 PM
WOW...Sandy really gave FIRE ISLAND a pounding! I hope that Cherry Grove was spared a large amount of devastation. I heard thongs, and dildoes, bloomas and bras were floating around in the waves near the post office the next day.They apparently washed out of THIS 'N THAT,the local general store there. KINKY !!!!
Anne Marie November 11, 2012 at 07:03 PM
"...flat out wrong?" Yea. ok. What gives you the right to make that decision? People, as a whole and as individuals are responsible for their own actions and choices. Those who made the choice to stay I bet are feeling pretty shitty about that decision. BUT as a whole, WE can do our utmost instead of leaving it up to evolution to weed people out. You have no compassion and to call people stupid... you might want to count yourself among the masses you choose to label as such.

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