The Port Washington-Manhasset Office of Emergency Management, in co-ordination with leadership of the villages and town, is fully functioning even though power on the peninsula is virtually shut down.
“There are three substations on the peninsula that are out, “ said Port Washington-Manhasset OEM Commissioner Peter Forman. These substations must go live before power can be restored to homes. “It’s unlikely we will have full power restoration in the next seven days,” Forman said.
The Port Washington-Manhasset OEM provides emergency management support from Northern Blvd to the tip of Sands Point, covering 10,000 homes and 40,000 residents. It is a volunteer organization that provides, at no charge, through NorthShoreAlert.org critical information in emergencies, and is providing a lifeline for residents. Sign up for phone, email and text alerts at NorthShoreAlert.org.
Forman points out that residents should sign up for email and text alerts, especially since many cannot currently receive phone calls in the aftermath of Storm Sandy. "Importantly, not all alerts are sent by voice, so the only way to be fully informed is to subscribe for email and text alerts as well," Forman said.
School districts on the peninsula are announcing closures one day at a time, but “I’d be surprised if school is reopened this week,” Forman said.
Currently there are two shelters operating at the high schools in Port Washington and Manhasset. These are especially critical as the temperature drops and people need to find somewhere warm, and where there is food. Residents can also charge their wireless devices at the shelters.
“The community has been absolutely amazing with their time and support,” Forman said. Within one hour of a request, he noted, the Port Washington shelter received 20-30 sets of lights from volunteers.
Police chiefs from both Sands Point Police and Port Washington Police District “are urging parents not to allow children to trick-or-treat,” Forman said.
Forman also urges residents to use caution when outdoors, especially around fallen wires. “Even though the peninsula is without power, firstly, one never knows when the substations will come back alive, and energy will flow through those down lines,” he said. “Secondly, there is always the risk of inappropriate back-feed from personal generators that are improperly” wired.
All water on the peninsula is safe to drink, he said. “All are on back-up generators and are in good shape,” he said.
Sign up for phone, email and text alerts at NorthShoreAlert.org.