Clean up continues on Long Island after flooding

August 16, 2011 4:45:53 AM PDT
The rain left Long Island swimming in water, and residents continue cleaning up and trying to pump water out of their homes.

As soon as the rain ended, the cleanup got underway across Nassau County, where the monster storm flooded out parking garages and countless basements and even a house of God.

"It's devastating. It really is," said Archbishop Russell James.

Archbishop Russell James doesn't know what he'll do next after the sudden surge of water forced his 80 member congregation out of the Hempstead space they've rented for 2 and a half years.

It destroyed expensive sound systems and the computers that contained years of church records.

"Our computers were fried they were actually floating. And some important documents were destroyed," James said.

A lot of the onslaught on the church came from the parking lot out back where the water carried a metal dumpster the length of a football field.

Next door, it destroyed a fleet of minivans owned by a home for the mentally ill.

Monday, Superintendent Patrick DeJain unloaded gallons of water from a shopvac as he tried wing out his offices inside.

"Everything is bad already, more money going out the drain," DeJain said.

Nothing speaks to the brute barbaric force of flood waters like Florence Cahn's once in-ground pool in Lido Beach.

Monday night it sat half above ground at an angle after being ripped from its concrete home and cables.

The pool had just been drained so they could clean and fix the tiles when the deluge came.

Between the 11 inches of rain and the backwash from the sewers, the empty pool simple wasn't heavy enough to hold its position.

A quick drive through Lido Beach revealed plenty of casualties on the curb; from sofas to electronics, they were all ruined by the rain.

Bob Bullard spend the day ripping out carpet and pumping seven inches of water from his basement.

Perhaps the only silver lining was seized by the young at heart.

With their street several feet under water, they did what any self respecting surfer dudes would do, they hit the waves.

The water sure wasn't draining from much of Nassau County, after record rainfall that dropped almost a foot of water on parts of the south shore.

The Village of Bellmore saw nine inches, and Monday nearly every house had a hose connected to a sump pump as thousands of families began to dry out.

Archbishop James vowed his congregation will prevail.

"I believe God's going to give us an answer in all this. We're not giving up. Just buckle up, rebuild. Rebuild," James said.

The good news is that the Long Island Rail Road is running a regular schedule Monday after delays and service suspensions Sunday. However, LIRR officials urge that delays are possible throughout the day as more rain falls.

With all the rain, it's not surprising a sinkhole developed at a gas station parking lot in Selden.

Trees and branches are down, so police are blocking off roads crews can clear them.

At one point, the water was so high in Freeport that people were using rowboats to get down the street. They spent hours pumping out water, salvaging what they could and trying to assess the damage.