Hurricane Sandy might have made landfall on the New Jersey Shore but she unleashed fury on the entire Northeast United States and that included the City of Rye. Over the decades Rye has been known to take hits from all different types of coastal storms, but Hurricane Sandy was one for the record books and a storm that will never be forgotten. In the past 5 years Rye has been hit especially hard, first in 2007 major floods in the downtown and Indian Village neighborhoods caused millions of dollars in damage. Then in 2011 Hurricane Irene hit causing major flooding again. As hurricane Sandy made landfall last Monday, the Rye Fire Department was busy from the very beginning responding to multiple alarms due to the storm. When the first high tide came in, Milton Road was quickly flooded from Stuyvesant Ave to the firehouse and to make matters worse a large tree and wires came down cutting off Milton Point to all traffic for the first few hours. Stuyvesant Ave also flooded in front of Shenorock Shore Club where one motorist was rescued by the fire department. According to the National Weather Service wind speeds were 70MPH with gusts to 91MPH and a storm surge at approximately 11 feet. At 2pm the city ordered a mandatory evacuation of all homes on the immediate coast. The fire department along with the police department went door to door advising of the situation and the dangers of staying in their home. By 9pm fire department personnel had to evacuate the Milton firehouse due to rising flood waters making the station an island. Flood doors helped reduce water entering the building limiting the damage. In the end when the storm passed and the sun rose again over Rye it was the first chance to survey most of the damage. 90% of Rye was left without power, over 300 trees fell and millions of dollars in damage had occurred. Playland's boardwalk and ice rink took heavy hits and Shenorock Shore Club was left in ruins and took the brunt of the damage. In comparison Rye was lucky and didn't see damage close to that of the Jersey Shore or New York City coast line where whole neighborhoods were wiped out and thousands left homeless.
Firefighters in Rye are becoming accustomed to coastal storms and the preparation needed to ready the department. For days leading up to the storm both the career staff and volunteers prepared by making sure all equipment was ready and in working order. Resupplying the trucks and moving any equipment and furniture from the first floor of the stations to the 2nd floor. In addition 300 sandbags were prepared to help protect each firehouse.
Chief Michael Taylor is very proud of all firefighters both career and volunteers who responded during the storm and is happy to report there were no injuries to any firefighters.
Now just over a week later after Sandy hit the department will prepare again for a Nor'easter set to bring rain and 50-60 MPH winds this week.