Smithtown officials said the passing nor'easter had a major impact on their efforts to cleanup and recover from Hurricane Sandy's damage.
John Valentine, Smithtown's Director of Emergency Management Services, said the highway department under Superintendent Glenn Jorgensen had to quickly change gears on Wednesday, being pulled away from ongoing Hurricane Sandy recovery to an "ice and snow control mission."
"Early on, we recognized we were going to have to deal with those conditions, ice and snow and slush, so we made a decisive switch," Valetine said. "Something that could have been much more damaging was immediately put under control."
The second storm caused crews to lose valuable time as town trucks needed to be brought, different equipment provided for the trucks and workers.
Despite their best efforts, the strong winds and icy mix of the nor`easter has left the town with a larger mess to clean up.
"We saw a lot more hangers, big tree branches that get stuck up in the trees that were picked up by the winds of the nor`easter. We definitely saw a lot more debris," Valentine said.
There were also a number of trees across the Town of Smithtown, damaged by Sandy, that were brought down by strong winds. This adds to the town's mounting clean up tasks.
The most dangerous threat left behind by the storm has been the icy mix on the streets of slush and melting snow, according to Valentine.
"The temperatures are going to drop again and there's still a lot of standing water on the roads. Everyone should use caution. People are starting to take to the streets and as such, we have to remind people we're still in a state of emergency here," Valentine said.
The emergency management director said town crews will continue to work diligently alongside LIPA, teaming up as needed to get roads accessible and power restored. However, unlike Islip Town officials, he commended LIPA's work.
"LIPA has been extremely responsive to anything we've provided them with, including areas that we feel need to be immediately addressed," Valentine said.
He urged residents who may be the only house on their block without power, or one of a few in a neighborhood, to reach out and contact LIPA. Residents can report downed wire or outage to LIPA immediately at 1-800-490-0075 or 631-755-6900.
"You can't assume they know everyone who is out. It's not a reasonable thing to believe. They might bring up an area, but there might be a few spotty residences that don't have power and they need to know that," Valetine said.
The emergency director said he is extremely sympathetic to residents without power, being a local resident who struggled without power until Monday night.
"If you don't have electricity, we're all the bad guys. We can't win," he said.