Although the residents of Rockville Centre were “inconvenienced, not devastated” by Superstorm Sandy, according to Mayor Francis Murray, the village is taking measures to better prepare for the next big storm.
“Rockville Centre was prepared for this storm. Nassau County was prepared,” he said. “But you never know how hard you’re going to get hit.”
It has been a year since Sandy tore down trees and knocked out electric in the village for about 8,000 people. Almost all of the village’s power was restored within a week, however, compared to the weeks many LIPA customers stayed in the dark. That was due to the preparation and work of the electric division’s heads, according to Murray.
Rockville Centre’s fortune served neighboring communities as well, as South Shore residents came to the village for a meal, to charge their devices, a hotel stay or to do laundry.
The mayor hopes to be able to help surrounding communities with any future electrical issues as well. Murray said he has asked the federal government for about $38 million for the infrastructure to power LIPA substations so surrounding communities get power back sooner.
He is also seeking $14 million to expand the Rockville Centre Fire Department so an Office of Emergency Management facility can be situated there. It would then house resources and emergency personnel from Long Beach, Island Park, East Rockaway, Oceanside and Lynbrook in cases of emergency.
“We would welcome everyone here. We’d house all their fire and police resources,” Murray said. “We have the first high ground in southwest Nassau that’s safe. Not only can we keep trucks here, but we can house them and feed them.”
Murray said he was proud of Rockville Centre’s residents and businesses, who supported others after the second costliest hurricane since 1900, according to the National Hurricane Center. Sandy is estimated to have caused about $65 billion in damage.“Rockville Centre is self sustaining to a point,” Murray said. “We have everything here, so we can control it. We’ll be ready for the next storm.”