Santino, Hempstead Town Prepare For Major Nor’easter, Coastal Areas Vulnerable to Flooding

Standing by the shores of Point Lookout near Jones Inlet, Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino discussed his town’s preparations for a major nor’easter snowstorm. Coming off a full moon tide on Sunday, March 12th, coastal areas will face a compounded flooding threat of strong winds and higher than usual tides converging during the major mid-March storm.  The township is already applying snow-melting brine to combat Mother Nature.

“This late winter storm threatens to dump a load of snow on our region,” stated Santino. “What’s more, the lunar high tides combined with strong winds make the threat of coastal flooding a serious concern.”

Hempstead Town snow crews have been on the street since Sunday, applying snow-melting brine.  Today, crews continue to apply brine while Santino’s Conservation and Waterways workforce will secure boats at town marinas and monitor coastal erosion at area beaches.  In fact, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of implementing a coastline hardening project designed to protect barrier island communities from the impact of storm damage and coastal flooding.

Hempstead Town officials are monitoring the storm’s track while the Highway Department has placed plows on trucks, stocked up on salt and brine and placed work crews on full alert.  Hempstead Town has approximately 300 pieces of equipment ready to respond to the storm and 400 workers. 50,000 tons of salt is stockpiled and managers have taken initial action, applying brine to commuter parking fields and roadways. 

“Preparation is the key to responding to winter storms,” stated Santino.  “We’ve made sure our equipment is in good working conditions and our supply of salt is fully stocked.”

The Supervisor also encouraged residents to prepare for the storm prior to the first snowfall and limit motor vehicle travel once the snow begins to fall.  The storm will be particularly challenging for commuters as the heaviest snowfall is projected to come during Tuesday morning’s rush hour.  The town has urged homeowners to stock up on groceries, flashlights, batteries, medical supplies and “ice melt” in advance of the storm.  Santino also recommended fueling all vehicles, locating shovels and having scrapers handy to deal with the effects of the storm.

The town is requesting that neighbors remove cars from roadways once snowfall commences as part of its effort to help snowplow operators effectively clear snow from curb-to-curb.  In addition, town officials are reminding neighbors that they can help keep motorists safer by shoveling or blowing snow from sidewalks and driveways onto their own properties.  Under no circumstances should snow be shoveled or blown into roadways. Doing so creates hazardous conditions for drivers and is a violation of town code.  Shoveling or blowing snow into roadways could result in a fine.

For up-to-date information on town programs that could be delayed or cancelled due to snow conditions, residents can visit the town’s website at www.TOH.LI.

“Hempstead Town is committed to keeping roadways clear and safe in the wake of the predicted snowstorm,” said Santino.  “I encourage neighbors to take extra time in dealing with the snowy morning commute.”