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Suffolk Notebook: County in Disaster Mode

From sidestepping LIPA to calling for – and ending – gas rationing, the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy has kept county officials busy this past week.

Following Superstorm Sandy's devastation in Suffolk County, the recovery has kept officials on their toes when it came to helping citizens navigate one of the Long Island's most challenging stretches in recent memory. Here's a timeline of how county officials responded going back before the storm hit to after the bulk of residents saw their power restored.

Oct. 27 - Suffolk County Exec Declares State of Emergency

As the storm barreled north, county officials worked with town supervisors to declare emergencies as well as begin evacuations of Fire Island. Later that day, the county opened emergency shelters.

Oct. 28 -

With disaster even nearer, county leaders announced road and mass transit closures and expanded the mandatory evacuation zone to other flood prone areas.

Oct. 30 - 17 Rescued From Fire Island With 10 Pets

When the storm passed, initial attention turned to battered Fire Island and the search and rescue operation to find those who refused to evacuate.

Oct. 31 -

By Halloween, many of the the shelters set up as places where locals could ride out the storm were closing or consolidating, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said while touring a Huntington shelter.

Nov. 1 - Suffolk Warns Gougers

Reports of price gouging during the worsening disaster prompted Bellone to issue this warning: “Investigators from our consumer affairs department will be following up on any and all complaints. We received a report of one 7-Eleven charging $10 for a loaf of bread. This is unacceptable. The prices you were charging prior to the storm should be the prices you are charging now.”

Nov. 5 - Suffolk County Opens Warming Centers

Nearly a week after the storm hit, plunging temperatures made the situation far worse for the thousands still languishing in powerless homes. The same day, county officials urged storm-ravaged residents to seek FEMA aid.

Nov. 8 - Odd-Even Gas Rationing Begins

After panic over a gas shortage led to hours-long lines at the few stations with power and gasoline, the county moved to a rationing system. The same day, Bellone met with town supervisors to outline plans to expedite power restoration in Suffolk by working with the Long Island Power Authority.

Nov. 10 - Bellone Cuts Ties with LIPA HQ

After two days, a frustrated Bellone announced he would no longer communicate with LIPA leadership he called inept and instead would work directly with substations.

Nov. 12 - Lights Back On In Suffolk

Nearly 99 percent of Suffolk County is back online, which the county takes some of the credit for following its sidestepping of LIPA.

Nov. 15 - Suffolk Offers Sandy Tax Relief

County offers sales tax break to businesses who lost cash due to the storm. Meanwhile, officials announce gas rationing would end on Saturday.

THE SOCIAL WORKER November 18, 2012 at 11:48 AM
yesterday @ noon, I was on 28th street So. in Wyandanch, where I saw about 15 men from the town of Babylon standing around with 1 payloader and 4 large dump trucks. None of them were working for about one half hour on taxpayers time and there was no one of color among the ranks !!
THE SOCIAL WORKER November 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM
debbie, believe it or not you may want to confirm LIPA is aware. I have a friend of mine who was in the same situation and when he got through to LIPA they had info that he had power. because everyone around him did. I feel sorry for you, that is beyond unbearable
honestthought November 19, 2012 at 08:29 AM
It was the same after Gloria. And catacosinos got sixty five million. Time for folks to investigate
honestthought November 19, 2012 at 08:34 AM
Social Worker: the men standing around may have been on break? Many of these workers are working very long hours. What needs to be addressed is maintenance like tree trimming and line equipment fatigue.
Judy Pepenella November 20, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Debbie (and anyone still without power) contact your NYS Assemblyman and Senator and demand their constituent services assist you and your family.

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