Lumberland building O&R case

GLEN SPEY, NY — Lumberland residents should be compiling their storm photographs to help the town demonstrate “how long it took” and “show the poor Orange & Rockland Utilities (O&R) response” to the March 1-2 storm. Supervisor Jenny Mellan last week asked residents to send or email photos to the town.

The storm’s downed trees closed roads and isolated the town. Highway Superintendent Don “Bosco” Hunt was unable to get out to assess the damage for four full days, Mellan said.

Hunt reported 97 trees felled by the storm, blocking 27 roads. “The roads stayed blocked for way too long for my liking,” he said.

Responding by the following mid-week, O&R crews were then pulled to more populated areas to assist with new outages from the March 7 storm. Lumberland Fire Department President Ann Steimle admitted she might have helped cause the pullout. Steimle said Town of Mamakating officials called her for information on getting O&R assistance and she provided contact numbers. “I’ll never do that again,” she said at the town board’s March 14 meeting.

An outage map on the O&R website on March 20 showed one outage in Glen Spey affecting one to 25 customers. Whether it was new or storm-related is unknown.

Mellan also had a long list of thank-yous for town employees and services that helped out during the storm emergency. She highlighted Camp Simca’s volunteering to provide food, wi-fi services and a warming shelter, “before anyone else.” Town clerk Laurie Terry practically camped out there buying food and managing the process, while her deputy, Michele Myslinski, ran the office. Simca’s internet access also allowed Terry to send the town payroll, so everyone still got paid on time.

Town highway workers finished work shifts and reported for duty as firefighters. The fire department and ambulance worked “24-8” doing welfare checks on residents, transporting people to the warming center, providing mutual aid coordinating with the National Guard units sent by Gov. Cuomo.

Naming some of “a lot of heroes,” Code Enforcement Officer Dave Sparling credited ambulance and fire volunteers and drew audience applause when he mentioned the help provided by Canadian utility workers from Quebec Hydro and Ottawa Hydro.

Sparling also reported that the rubbish complaint on Bodnaruik property in Mohican Lake is still open. Mellan said the town had received no bids on the cleanup and wants to speak with the town’s attorney before taking additional action, as materials had been dragged off the lot, across the road, and violation was based on that particular lot.


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