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No Plans for Town of Smithtown to Declare Emergency

All other nine Suffolk towns are, or will soon be, in state of emergency as Hurricane Irene approaches.

While all other nine towns in Suffolk County have declared an emergency, an employee with the Town of Smithtown said on Saturday that it does not plan to go that far.

Smithtown Town officials have given orders for coastal residents to evacuate.

John Wagner, Smithtown’s deputy director of public safety, said residents living on Long Beach Road, east of the Marine, were given notice to evacuate on Saturday morning ahead of Irene.

However, the Town of Smithtown does not plan to declare a state of emergency.

“Smithtown is on the highest level of standby. We’re just anticipating, like the rest of the county, the worst impact possibility,” Wagner said.

Wagner added that there was "no need" to declare an emergency at this point in time.

Supervisor Patrick Vecchio did not immediately return requests for comment.

According to state law, an emergency declaration allows town leaders to declare such measures for their respective municipalities such as a curfew, evacuation zones, emergency shelters, and opening and closing of roads to the public, among others.

Suffolk County has opened up 18 emergency shelters for residents being asked to evacuate.

Smithtown officiale though, have said that there are no plans to open up a shelter within the town. The Edward A. Cannataro Senior Citizen Center has been opened up in the past.

Smithtown Town employees are ready to take action when the storm hits, Wagner assured.

“We have all our manpower in place. But like everyone else, you can do as much as you can now but you not sure what you will do until the hurricane sets foot on ground,” Wagner said. 

diana marshall August 27, 2011 at 07:23 PM
Don't you think it's better to be PROACTIVE rather than REACTIVE Smithtown.....wake up!!!!
paula August 27, 2011 at 07:47 PM
We don't have enough problems with the slips at the bluff on a good day, you would think they would remove the brand new ones be fore they get ripped out by the storm. I guess my tax dollars will just build new ones.
Claire August 28, 2011 at 02:21 AM
Where's Vecchio?? On another vacation?
MJM August 28, 2011 at 11:33 AM
I would not be surprised if the failure to "declare an emergency" impacts on the Town's ability to obtain disaster funds from NYS and the Feds.

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