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    Islip Town Preparing For Hurricane Joaquin
    October 1, 2015 8:11 pm  
    Islip Town Preparing For Hurricane Joaquin

    Islip Town officials held a press conference to assure residents that the Town is ready to deal with a potential hit from Hurricane Joaquin and that officials have learned much after dealing with Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath.

    “The message we really want to deliver is that we’re prepared,” said Supervisor Angie Carpenter at the town’s Emergency Operations Center, noting that town officials are watching the storm models and are participating in National Weather Service briefings.

    “We are obviously a vulnerable part of the geography of Long Island, with the entire south shore of the Town of Islip either on the bay or on the ocean,” the Supervisor added. “We have been very diligent since the beginning of the week, when it became obvious we were potentially in harm’s way.”

    The Supervisor said the Town might make a determination to call for a voluntary evacuation of Fire Island. She noted that Fire Island’s ferry services would cease operations if storm winds reach 45 mph. She said Fire Islanders have time now to secure their properties and return from the barrier island ahead of the storm. Check the websites of all ferry services for up-to-date information on schedules, and how the storm may impact travel.

    Carpenter also urged residents to make sure they and their families are prepared and have emergency information intact, have necessary medications, and have secured outdoor furniture and propane tanks. She urged residents to sign up for the town’s e-alerts on the town’s web site in order to receive information via email or text message on their phones in the event of power outages.

    Anthony D’Amico, Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety, said, “We are keeping an eye on the heavy rains and flooding forecast for tonight and for tomorrow, and we’re also monitoring the hurricane. It’s still on an unpredictable track, but they are saying that we are in the path right now.”

    D’Amico said the Town has been in touch with utility companies and Suffolk County officials, as well as residents and fire chiefs on Fire Island to maintain constant communications.

    “We’re ramping up our planning efforts. Our incident management team has been activated,” D’Amico added.

    Tom Owens, commissioner of public works, said the town has 800 pieces of equipment, 300 employees and a fleet of fully fueled vehicles at the ready. He said crews are currently pumping out storm drains. “We learned a lot from Sandy, so we hope that we miss the storm, but if it comes, we are certainly prepared,” he said.

    Islip MacArthur Airport also is preparing for the storm, said Rob Schneider, Director of Operations. “We do have safety precautions that already are in place.” He said the airport would remain open, but that it is up to the airlines to determine when to cancel flights. Those determinations will be made as the storm nears. He said airlines generally cancel flights when crosswinds reach 35 knots per hour and when there are sustained winds of 60 knots directly on the runways. Travelers, he said, should contact their carriers before leaving for the airport.

    Pictured (l-r): Robert Schneider, Director of Operations at MacArthur Airport; Tom Owens, Commissioner of Public Works; Trish Bergin Weichbrodt, Councilwoman; Angie Carpenter, Islip Town Supervisor; Steve Flotteron, Councilman; Anthony D’Amico, Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety.

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