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Suffolk Notebook: FEMA Cash for Irene Costs, Land Buy, Phishing Scam

County scored - and spent - money in the past week.

Suffolk picked up $7 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency this week to help cover clean-up costs racked up in last August's brush with Tropical Storm Irene.

FEMA said the cash should cover about 75 percent of the costs incurred by local towns.

For example, the Town of Smithtown will receive $1 million. Last year, Smithtown workers cleared up nearly 2,000 tons of debris after the storm, . Meanwhile, Brookhaven will receive $4.3 million to help defray costs from cleaning up nearly 17,000 tons of debris.

According to town chief of staff Brian Beedenbender, Brookhaven spent about $7.5 million on Irene recovery efforts, with the majority of that coming from the highway and waste management budgets.

Since FEMA generally reimburses 87.5 percent of costs, Beendenbender said the town expects to get another payment.

Suffolk County received the remaining $1.7 million to cover all of the county workers called in to aid in the recovery.

County Legislature Green Lights Land Preservation
The county this week agreed to spend $1.2 million to preserve 8.3 acres of land in the Beaverdam Creek watershed area in the hamlet of Brookhaven.

Suffolk said the cash came from a quarter percent sales tax allotment reserved to pay for preserving environmentally sensitive land.

The county said it made the land buy under its Drinking Water Protection Program, since the watershed near the Great South Bay supports such a rich ecosystem.

Police Warn of Phishing Scam
Suffolk County Police this week warned county residents of a of a cell phone text message phishing scam that's tricked people into giving out their sensitive financial information.

The scam works like this: Locals have received text messages that say they've won a $1,000 gift card from electronics retailer Best Buy, but they actually send them to a bogus website that tries to get people to give up their credit or debit card numbers to claim the prize.

Cops said Best Buy is not running any such promotion.

Ryan June 16, 2012 at 05:20 PM
360-550-3625 is the number that texted me with the link to the phishing scam. Thanks Patch!!!!

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