Top Stories 2012: Hurricane Sandy Hits Rye

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A tree that fell during Hurricane Sandy covers the property of the Rye Arts Center. Photo Credit: Contributed

RYE, N.Y. ‒ The Rye Daily Voice will lead into the New Year by counting down, in no particular order, the Top 10 headlines from 2012.

Hurricane Sandy brought devastating winds to the area, downing trees and power lines throughout Rye. During the storm, the tidal surge was well above normal at 6 to 11 feet. About 90 percent of the city’s 6,070 Con Edison customers were without power in the first few days after the storm. It took nearly two weeks for full power to be restored. 

Playland Parkway was closed during the storm and residents in coastal and low-lying areas were urged to relocate. A total of 12 rescues were made – six in the afternoon and six in the evening. One fire was reported in the city due to a generator possibly operating inside a garage.

Damage was widespread, and Rye remained in public safety mode for days with downed wires, damaged trees and traffic control devices out of commission. Rye Country Day School on Grandview Avenue was opened as a shelter for residents displaced by the storm.

At Playland Park in Rye, large portions of boardwalk were floating in Long Island Sound, the pier was buckled, trees were down and metal fences were bent backward by the force of Hurricane Sandy’s gusting winds. The Ice Casino at Playland remains closed until further notice due to flooding in the basement, which was filled with saltwater and fish during the storm surge. 

In the days after, residents packed into the Rye Free Reading Room and other WiFi spots to charge electronics and cellphones. For drivers, getting gas became a competitive sport due to shortages, long lines and closed stations. Halloween was postponed for trick-or-treaters and other city meetings and events were canceled as the city worked to get everything back to normal.

Rye City Schools were closed for a full week, and two of Rye’s elementary schools were closed extra days. As a result, classes will end for students attending Milton and Osborn elementary schools on Monday, June 24, instead of June 20.

It has been two months since Hurricane Sandy hit the area, but the city is still feeling its effects. Both Rye Brook and Rye have applied for FEMA grants to help pay for cleanup costs. Most recently, the Rye Brook village Board of Trustees voted Dec. 12 to modify the village budget by dipping into the contingency fund, sewer account and unallocated insurance to pay for worker overtime and tree cleanup costs.

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