NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Irene's hitting the tri-state area, and Omar Small, assistant to the New Rochelle city manager, said the city was not as hard-hit as other communities in the area, but did suffer some damage.
“The major damage was due to storm debris,” Small said. “The city removed approximately 590 tons of storm debris. There was some pier damage, and a portion of the seawall at Hudson Park sustained damage.”
The city was able to clean up storm debris in about a month, Small said. To help with storm cleanup costs, the city has received some of the money for which it is eligible from the state Office of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“You always gain insight from these situations,” Small said. “Prior to the storm, members of our emergency management team met several times to discuss plans, and communication was sent to residents. Again, we were fortunate as the impact and damage caused by Hurricane Irene could have been a lot worse.”
New Rochelle plans to continue to do the best it can in the event of another storm like Irene.
“Obviously, with natural disasters there are things that are out of our control,” Small said. “The things we can control: collaboration with outside agencies, communication within the emergency management team, and informing residents is key.”
Small said it is important for residents to prepare for disasters by getting a kit, making a plan, being informed and signing up for the city’s emergency calling system. Residents can also look at information posted by the city’s Office of Emergency Management.
Small said the city successfully used its systems to inform residents about the storm.
“Prior to, during and after Irene we were able to send out timely calls, emails and texts to residents,” he said.
To continue this, Small urges residents to sign up for emergency notifications by going to the city’s website and clicking on the Connect-CTY icon on the lower right side of the page.
New Rochelle resident Beth Acocella was in Myrtle Beach, S.C., when Irene came. “The storm missed us thank GOD,” she said on The New Rochelle Daily Voice’s Facebook page.
Nick Tanzi was not on land as the storm system approached. “I was on a cruise ship,” he said via a New Rochelle Daily Voice Facebook post. “(It was a) pretty rough ride.”