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Astorino: Sandy Cost Westchester $42 Million

County will keep emergency center open until late-December; Playland damages estimated at $12 million.

In addition to the three local lives lost by Sandy's destruction, the violent storm left Westchester with about $42 million in damages, County Executive Rob Astorino said Wednesday morning.

"And the figure will likely rise," Astorino added, speaking from the county's Disaster Recovery Center in White Plains.

The storm plowed through Port Chester, Westchester County and surrounding areas on Oct. 29, flooding coastlines, downing trees and knocking out power—in some cases, for more than a week.

Two North Salem boys were killed by a falling tree and a Yonkers man was killed in an automobile accident during the height of the tempest.

A substantial portion of Westchester's damages—about $12 million—is linked to extensive wreckage at Rye Playland, Astorino said.

"The north boardwalk was obliterated," he said, adding that the ice casino was slammed, as well. Still, Astorino vowed the park will open in May.

Another $12.5 million in damages was dealt to other county parks, and $15 million in damages was spread across 30 of the county's municipalities.

Over 200 homes throughout Westchester were damaged by floods or falling trees, with four homes in Verplanck and Croton-on-Hudson completely destroyed. More than 50 businesses in Yonkers, Irvington, New Rochelle, Rye, Port Chester and the village of Mamaroneck were struck by coastal flooding.

County facilities were smacked, as well, when the Yonkers Wastewater Treatment Plant and a slate of county pump stations were hit by winds and water.

Some 300,000 Westchester utility customers lost power during or after the squall—280,000 with ConEd, and 30,000 with NYSEG.

Astorino said the county has reached out to both power companies about improving restoration efforts in the future, and steeling communities for the next storm.

"We need full [telephone] pole repairs, not Band-Aids," Astorino said. "And Con Ed needs to do a better job communicating."

After speaking with New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and several officials on Long Island, Astorino said Westchester did not face the brunt of the storm.

"We, as a county, were fairly lucky," he said. "It's not that we didn't have pain and suffering and three deaths, but by-and-large it was power outages and trees down."

Governor Andrew Cuomo has said Sandy cost all of New York State about $42 billion.

Westchester's Disaster Recovery Center at the County Center will remain open until Dec. 21 on a six day schedule, seeing residents Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The location helps those affected by the storm to apply for FEMA assistance; nearly 5,000 Westchester residents have already registered for aid.

"The Disaster Recovery Center was opened as a place where residents could get assistance in person from FEMA, the Small Business Administration, Con Edison and a variety of non-profit and county government agencies," Astorino said.

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Westcheter County Center, 98 Central Avenue  White Plains

FEMA registration: (800) 621-3362, or visit www.disasterassistance.gov

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