In the wake of last week’s weather event now known as “Superstorm Sandy,” everyone wants to help, but many don’t know where to start, or the best ways to pitch in. Last year, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office received a four-wheel drive GMC dual-wheel pickup used during last year’s storms Irene and Lee’s clean-up stage free of charge from the military through a federal program. On Thursday, the sheriff’s office received a plea for assistance from the state Emergency Operation Center on behalf of the Long Beach Police Department in Nassau County. The police down there were requesting patrol vehicles, since most of theirs were lost to salt water and sand. Undersheriff Frank Faluotico, Sgt. Perry Soule and Deputy Brandon Bergenn delivered the vehicle to Long Beach Police Department Commissioner Michael Tangney, who immediately deployed it. Ulster personnel also met with state police Capt. Pierce Gallagher to tour the devastated areas.
Faluotico described streets filled with six to eight feet of sand — in some spots as high as 25 feet — and garages filled with six feet of sand.
“Walking through Irene last year and looking at what they’re going through,” said Faluotico, “They had sand and we had mud. We had to get mud out of the houses, but sand is so minute that it’s going to take forever to clean up. It’s everywhere.”
Faluotico added that local food pantries are nearly out of food, and reminded that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, citing Shandaken and Woodstock food pantries specifically in immediate need.
Ashokan Service Unit Girl Scout Troop 60059 is gathering a large collection of supplies to send to Staten Island and is calling for contributions. “Many homes are salvageable but recovery time is limited due to cold, wet weather rolling in fast,” said Sierra Smith, assistant leader. “With so many affected homes, local stores are wiped clear of supplies that they need, quickly.” Troop leader Laura Beckwith said that the troop’s former leader, Margaret Harkin, lives in Staten Island and will help distribute the donated items, saying that the Scouting parents have reached out, wanting to help. “[Harkin’s] house is fine as she is in the middle of Staten Island, but the area around her is really bad,” said Beckwith. “I was concerned she got evacuated because I didn’t know where her house was, but she’s fine.” Beckwith said that drop-off points in Staten Island are being chosen online at statenisland.recovers.org.