When Hurricane Sandy slammed into Long Island, it caused unprecedented devastation and multiple emergencies. SEMO, the NY State Office of Emergency Management and the American Red Cross had an emergency of their own – getting water to the desperate thousands in the Rockaways. The SFWD snapped into action to supply fresh water for residents, electrical workers, and others who were helping in the tremendous relief effort.
Our plants were without electricity, but through good planning, our generators were working at full capacity. There was no interruption in water supply to SFWD residents, and we initiated an action plan to get water to those who needed it immediately.
Early Tuesday morning, November 6, SFWD volunteers met SEMO personnel at Republic Airport. The joint task force escorted a 5,500-gallon tanker truck to SFWD Plant #1 on Langdon Road. Our crew worked to clean and sanitize the truck, filled it with water, and in less than 24 hours, thousands of people in Queens had SFWD water on hand.
The Board of Commissioners commented, “Hurricane Sandy was a devastating storm that changed the lives of many. We’re proud of our staff for volunteering their time. Many had no electricity or heat themselves, but they got out of bed and worked around the clock. Every crew member stepped up and did his or her part to help our neighbors who had even greater needs.”
We are pleased to add that we have been notified that FEMA will reimburse the District for all costs related to these relief efforts.