Senators Meet with Local Leaders About Recovery Efforts, Pledge State Assistance in Aftermath of Storm
NANUET, NY – The New York State Senate’s Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy Recovery today traveled to Rockland County to listen to the progress and challenges of the ongoing recovery efforts in the Hudson Valley. The meeting, held at Nanuet Public Library, focused on the impact that Hurricane Sandy had on Rockland and Westchester Counties.
Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester), a member of the Bipartisan Task Force and key organizer of the event, said, “The damage sustained by Hurricane Sandy is profound and real, and like many other communities that have been impacted by this devastating storm, we will need all resources at our disposal to help communities rebuild. As a vocal member of this task force, I have been outspoken about long-term solutions that we must address going forward, including helping homeowners tackle mold damage, ensure that gas stations have backup generators along strategic routes, and secure funding for communities that need the help most. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues so that Rockland and Westchester counties get the help that they deserve.”
In Rockland County, the damage resulting from the storm was especially devastating for homeowners along the Hudson River communities of Piermont and Nyack. Homeowners and businesses in other Towns and Villages also suffered heavy damage, including downed trees, electrical and telephone wires, and loss of power for days if not weeks.
The task force also discussed long-term rebuilding and cleanup efforts relating to mold remediation, strengthening a gas distribution system during a natural disaster, securing and distributing federal funding, and establishing stricter oversight measures of insurance companies.
This was the third meeting of the Bipartisan Senate Task Force for Hurricane Sandy Recovery, which first met on December 10, 2012, in the Rockaways in Queens. Task force members have also toured the impact of Hurricane Sandy in Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.
Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) was joined by Task Force Co-Chair Senator Malcolm A. Smith (D-Queens) as well as over a dozen local leaders from Rockland and the surrounding area.
The participants provided critical input about the challenges they are facing and what steps can be taken to help improve preparedness and response for future storms.
Hudson Valley county, town, and village officials also were included in the panel, including Clarkstown Town Supervisor Alex Gromack,Orangetown Town Supervisor Andy Stewart, Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, Ossining Town Supervisor Sue Donnelly,Stony Point Councilman Jim McDonnell, Rockland County Sheriff Lou Falco, Piermont Mayor Chris Sanders, Nyack Mayor Jennifer White,Ossining Mayor Bill Hanauer, and Assemblyman James Skoufis (D-Orange County).
Other attendees included Frank Peverly, Vice President of Operations, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Steve Reich of Local Laborers, Deb Rizzi of United Water, Chris Jensen of the Rockland County Office of Emergency Management, Carol Ackerman of New City Ambulance, Sacha Spector of Scenic Hudson, and representatives from the Spring Hill Ambulance.
The task force is identifying areas most in need of recovery assistance and reviewing the rebuilding and storm planning policies to remove roadblocks and ensure better storm preparedness. The Task Force will develop legislative solutions to implement the recommendations made by the NYS 2100 Commission, the NYS Respond Commission and the NYS Ready Commission. Members will also be traveling to other areas damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Task force members play pivotal roles in developing the short- and long-term plans that will help communities get back on their feet following Hurricane Sandy. Each task force member represents one of New York State’s hardest hit areas and is thus uniquely qualified to pinpoint those neighborhoods and businesses that are most in need.