Update: the Town of Huntington added two more warming stations to the list Saturday. Please see below.
Several houses of worship and social services agencies will begin functioning as warming centers, Town Supervisor Frank Petrone announced Friday.
The centers will provide residents without electricity a chance to get warm, charge electronic devices, get some food and generally get a brief respite from dealing with the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which delivered a destructive blow to the area Monday.
Petrone said the plan grew out meetings involving town officials and representatives of Family Service League, Tri-Community Youth Agency, Helping Hand Rescue Mission, Temple Beth El of Huntington, Central Presbyterian Church, St. Hugh of Lincoln Roman Catholic Church, Light of Salvation Church, Bethel AME Church, United Methodist Church and the Huntington YMCA.
A combination of volunteers and town employees will staff the centers. The plan was announced at a press conference held at Temple Beth El and attended by members of the Town Board and many representatives of the religious institutions and agencies.
Peggy Boyd, vice president of community services and advocacy at the Family Service League of Long Island, will coordinate the program.
“The weather is getting colder, people are feeling more stressed as they continue to live without heat or electricity and they need places where they can go to relax, get warm and feel less isolated because of the lack of power,” Petrone said. “The town, the religious institutions and the social services agencies all help people in their times of need, and coping with the effects of Hurricane Sandy defines a time of need.”
The town will even offer some free ice rink time. “That’s to help people get the energy out, get the frustration out,” Petrone said.
He and members of the Town Board urged residents to assist others in need if possible, by providing showers, food or a warm space. “We want to emphasize that there’s only so much the nonprofits can do,” Councilman Mark Cuthbertson said. “As New Yorkers, as Long Islanders, as Huntingtonians, we have to come together. The rest of us have to help, to be sure no Huntingtonian gets left behind.”
Petrone said the two largest frustrations people are experiencing are, first, keeping warm as temperatures continue to drop, and second, dealing with the gasoline shortage.
And he identified downed trees and wires as the biggest problem.
Petrone and Berland urged people to not take chain saws to trees blocking their streets. “If you see someone with a chain saw—stop them,” Berland said.
The fear is that someone attempting to cut up a tree will accidentally strike a downed wire. “We don’t need this tragedy,” Petrone said.
Councilman Mark Mayoka noted that he is working with banks and the Small Business Administration to help local businesses get loans to recover from disaster. He said Room 114 in Town Hall is open this weekend for those in need a place to recharge a phone or laptop computer. WiFi is also available.
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The centers, their hours of operation and their facilities are:
William J. Brosnan School
Northport-East Northport School District
158 Laurel Ave
Hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Sunday and Monday
Will announce addtional days and times if needed
American Legion Hall
7 Woodside Ave
9 am - 3pm Sunday
Central Presbyterian Church
240 Main Street, Huntington
Open: Monday to Sunday: 10 a.m. – 3p.m.
Providing: Sandwiches, charging stations and internet access
Temple Beth El
660 Park Avenue, Huntington
Open: Sundays – 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Monday to Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Providing: Warming area, water and charging stations
St. Hugh of Lincoln R. C. Church
New York Avenue at East 9th Street
Open: Monday to Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Providing: Warming Center
Light of Salvation Church
1599 New York Avenue
Open: Monday to Saturday: 9am to 6pm
Sunday: 9 am to 1pm
Providing: Warming center and food.
Dix Hills Ice Rink
Dix Hills Park
575 Vanderbilt Parkway, Dix Hills – 11746
Open: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Monday to Friday: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Providing: Free ice skating, coffee and hot chocolate, showers, and charging stations. Snacks can be purchased at the concession stand
60 Main Street-11743
Open: 8am to 5pm
Providing: Showers and charging stations