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Highway Crews Dig Into Debris

Department says debris five times that left by Hurricane Irene.

Almost six weeks after Hurricane Sandy tore through the area, the Huntington Highway Department crews have removed more than 270,000 cubic yards of debris from town roadways.

Much of that waste is ending up at Dix Hills Park, where it is turned into mulch or lumber, said Michael Naughton, a supervisor with the department, on a tour of streets last week.

He said the department hopes to have made at least one pass on every street by the end of this coming week. Workers will then return to remove other debris, work on removing stumps and do other work. “We can’t pull stumps until everything is checked with the utility companies,” he said. 

 “Our major focus is to get the roads clear now,” he said, before winter snows arrive. “We’re at the mercy of the weather.”

He estimated that the department will remove 350,000 cubic yards before it is done, compared to the 70,000 removed after Hurricane Irene in 2011.  This year’s removal is the equivalent of 9,700 dump trucks so far.

Both highway and other town officials have said that in some cases, debris has been dumped by contractors or others after roadways have been cleared.  “We had stuff dumped yesterday (Monday,) on Round Swamp Road,” William Naughton, the highway superintendent, said.

Both Naughtons said department workers had learned lessons from Hurricane Irene. “This one is four, five times as bad as Irene,” the senior Naughton said. “It taught us everything. It was good for the employees.”

He also said he was grateful that the town had allowed the use of the park and for people’s patience.

Michael Naughton said all of the work has to be thoroughly documented by the town when it is reported to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Workers use cameras to record trucks when empty and then filled; the truck’s logo is also recorded, and photos and paperwork submitted as proof that the debris was removed.

He said the department had been working seven days a week since the storm hit Oct. 29, with just two days off.

Gee December 10, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Please visit McFadden Drive & Stacey Ln in East Northport it is heavily used by the buses an their Personnel.. Very difficult to get by with big trees that fell in the area..there is a flood area in the middle of McFadden that if we get heavy rain this debris is going to be more of an issue..Thank you..
MJ December 10, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Thanks for all your hard work, just wondering what you are doing with all the wood chips and the lumber you are making?
Pat December 10, 2012 at 11:30 PM
I have visited the above..I ask all of you...where are our tax dollars going?? I have not seen a clean up crew in my area for weeks. Please contact the town, and the highway department. My debris surrounds a fire hydrant. This is dangerous. Also, my neighbors are complaining that the school buses are having difficulty. Even the mailmen/women have to scoot around the debris. When????? Please call the town. Thank you!!
Howard December 24, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Markwood LAne in East Northport has not been cleared. They worked on the surrounding streets SundayDecember 16 and ran out of time. Never came back to do Markwood Lane,
Pat December 24, 2012 at 08:44 PM
We've noticed the same here on Tinton Place in E. Npt. They started the clean up and completed the surrounding areas, but never returned to Tinton. We are beginning to think they will not return until the Spring-if then. Don't know why some areas are getting the large stumps/tree trunks removed, and others are not!

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