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Town Meets to Recap Damage, Formulate Gameplan Moving Forward

Over 17,000 residents from Wading River to Flanders to Northville were reported to be without power on Tuesday morning.

Town officials and department heads met Tuesday morning to summarize some of the damage done on Monday and formulate a gameplan moving forward as residents and the town itself assesses damage following Monday's storm.

Supervisor Sean Walter said he expects the town to waive building permit fees for homes impacted by the storm. While the extent of damage remains unclear the morning following, certain areas are known for sure to have been hit hard.

Police Chief David Hegermiller said "all houses south of Peconic Bay Boulevard" in South Jamesport saw water as a result of coastal flooding of the bay and Walter estimated that 90 percent of homes on Creek Road in Wading River were damaged as well.

Walter added that homes at the end of Lewin Drive in Wading River are in danger of falling into the Long Island Sound, one "maybe 20 feet from going over."

Hegermiller said that while Tropical Storm Sandy brought along with her less rain than last year's Irene, coastal flooding was "hands down worse."

No serious injuries were reported, though, he said.

Throughout Monday, town officials are going to devise a way for locals to report storm damage so a total can be tallied for Riverhead Town, and sent along to the county for Federal Emergency Management Agency aid. While the county should have enough to claim aid, Hegermiller predicted, he doubted Riverhead saw enough damage in any particular area to earn any individual assistance.

The town's two building inspectors, in addition to other department staff, will be working their way around certain areas of town that were hit particularly hard to check in with homeowners whose homes were likely hit hard, in order to fast track building permits.

"We need to be processing building permits overnight," said Walter. A town board resolution would be required to waive any building permit fees.

Highway Department Superintendent Gio Woodson was out with LIPA crews on Tuesday clearing roads, Walter said, while representatives of the town's Senior Center noted that the center would not be picking seniors up on Tuesday, though walk-ins were more than welcome.

Department heads are expected to reconvene Tuesday afternoon.

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