Post Irene Cleanup Underway, Could Take a Month
The cleanup process following Tropical Storm Irene throughout the town could take a month to complete.
While the process could take a month, Town of Smithtown Superintendent of Highways Glenn Jorgensen said the town is making great progress.
“It’s going very well, better than I expected right now. We’re working six in the morning until seven at night and we did this all week during the storm, clearing the roads,” he said.
Jorgensen said that while there have been some minor equipment problems due to wear-and-tear from the cleanup process, the only hiccup in the cleanup process is having to wait for LIPA to clear downed power lines.
“We’re not allowed to work near live wires, we’ve got to wait for LIPA to come out to make sure the lines aren’t energized before I can send my guys in there to get the brush and cut up the trees,” he said.
Jorgensen added LIPA’s initial efforts to make sure power lines were not active were slow, but has picked up throughout the week.
Work crews have been broken up into the same areas used for snow removal throughout the winter and equipment from load-alls – or brush grabbers – to bobcats and a rotation of trucks are being used to clean roadways.
Jorgensen said the town currently does not have an estimate on how much debris has been collected in the cleanup process so far but workers are weighing the debris as loads come in and he should have an estimate on the tonnage collected by next week.
Upcoming Town Meetings
There are two meetings to start September – a town board meeting on Tuesday at 2 p.m. in town hall, and a planning board meeting Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Eugene A. Cannataro Senior Citizen Center.