Following Superstorm Sandy's devastation in Suffolk County, the recovery has kept officials on their toes when it came to helping citizens navigate one of the Long Island's most challenging stretches in recent memory. Here's a timeline of how county officials responded going back before the storm hit to after the bulk of residents saw their power restored.
Oct. 27 - Suffolk County Exec Declares State of Emergency
As the storm barreled north, county officials worked with town supervisors to declare emergencies as well as begin evacuations of Fire Island. Later that day, the county opened emergency shelters.
Oct. 28 -
With disaster even nearer, county leaders announced road and mass transit closures and expanded the mandatory evacuation zone to other flood prone areas.
Oct. 30 - 17 Rescued From Fire Island With 10 Pets
When the storm passed, initial attention turned to battered Fire Island and the search and rescue operation to find those who refused to evacuate.
Oct. 31 -
By Halloween, many of the the shelters set up as places where locals could ride out the storm were closing or consolidating, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said while touring a Huntington shelter.
Nov. 1 - Suffolk Warns Gougers
Reports of price gouging during the worsening disaster prompted Bellone to issue this warning: “Investigators from our consumer affairs department will be following up on any and all complaints. We received a report of one 7-Eleven charging $10 for a loaf of bread. This is unacceptable. The prices you were charging prior to the storm should be the prices you are charging now.”
Nov. 5 - Suffolk County Opens Warming Centers
Nearly a week after the storm hit, plunging temperatures made the situation far worse for the thousands still languishing in powerless homes. The same day, county officials urged storm-ravaged residents to seek FEMA aid.
Nov. 8 - Odd-Even Gas Rationing Begins
After panic over a gas shortage led to hours-long lines at the few stations with power and gasoline, the county moved to a rationing system. The same day, Bellone met with town supervisors to outline plans to expedite power restoration in Suffolk by working with the Long Island Power Authority.
Nov. 10 - Bellone Cuts Ties with LIPA HQ
After two days, a frustrated Bellone announced he would no longer communicate with LIPA leadership he called inept and instead would work directly with substations.
Nov. 12 - Lights Back On In Suffolk
Nearly 99 percent of Suffolk County is back online, which the county takes some of the credit for following its sidestepping of LIPA.
Nov. 15 - Suffolk Offers Sandy Tax Relief
County offers sales tax break to businesses who lost cash due to the storm. Meanwhile, officials announce gas rationing would end on Saturday.