BEDFORD, N.Y. – As 2012 draws to a close, The Bedford Daily Voice is recapping some of the biggest stories of the past year.
According to the Bedford police, Hurricane Sandy and the following nor'easter were more devastating townwide in terms of power outages and damage to utilities than were Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm last year.
Hurricane Sandy hit the area Monday, Oct. 29, and felled power lines and trees, damaged homes, and blocked roads. By Tuesday afternoon, all 6,657 New York State Electric & Gas customers in Bedford were without power.
Bedford issued a state of emergency that day and did not lift it until eleven days later on Thursday, Nov. 8, a day after a powerful nor’easter dumped snow on the area. At that point, power restoration efforts from Sandy were still in process.
Elementary school students in the Bedford Central School District missed a week of school due to Hurricane Sandy, while Fox Lane High School and Middle School resumed classes after a week and two days.
To better coordinate their efforts during the storm, Bedford town officials set up a town command center at the Bedford Hills Firehouse with representatives of the Police Department, the Department of Public Works, the school district, the town's fire departments, Consolidated Edison and the National Guard.
Right after the storm hit, police were tasked with clearing 130 roads that had been made impassable.
Police said the nor'easter did not do much to set back Sandy recovery efforts by DPW and utility work crews. The cleanup efforts continue today. According to town officials, carting off all trees and debris could take months.
Officials said the town is set to receive future reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.