Krista McNallyOct 27, 2017, 5:27 pm

New Office of Emergency Management opens in Freeport

Facility houses high-axle vehicles that can navigate high waters in event of natural disasters

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FREEPORT — After seven months of construction, a brand new state-of-the-art Office of Emergency Management storage facility has opened in the village.

"This facility is hosting the army trucks which are super high-axle vehicles that can respond in high water. Any portion of the village that has high water instead of putting our million dollar fire trucks in there, we’ll be putting these rigs in there to get down to any type of emergency," Director of Freeport Emergency said Management Richard E Holdener.

In Freeport, approximately 3,000 homes and 60 businesses were destroyed during Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012. The new OEM building is located outside of the 100-year-old flood zone, and was built to provide support to local residents during potential hurricanes and other natural disasters.

"We, the elected officials, must develop policies and procedures to minimize the damages caused by flooding and make readily available the equipment necessary to assist our residents and business in a time of need," said Village Mayor Robert Kennedy

The facility will be stocked with emergency supplies in the coming months including batteries, cots, water and more.

The high-axle vehicles inside are also extremely useful during flooding to safely respond to emergencies.

"Now all of this equipment that used to be outside is now out of the elements. It’s not rusting it’s not getting wind damage. These heavy operated equipment is now safe inside a secure building and it’s going to make these trucks last a lot longer," Holdener said.

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder explained one situation that happened during Superstorm Sandy which now could be avoided with the equipment in the OEM facility.

"During Sandy in one of the areas in Massapequa, we had a house that went on fire. And trying to get to that location we couldn't get our vehicles down. The high-axle vehicles can move resources down to both recover and hopefully put the fire out," Ryder said.

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