East Hampton Town Rallies To Help 'Sister Community' Breezy Point

Four truckloads sent Sunday; More details on how everyone can get involved will be announced Monday.

East Hampton officials will formally announce on Monday an effort underway to help out a community on the other end of Long Island that was devastated in Hurricane Sandy.

On Sunday, the first caravan of supplies made the 120-mile ride from Montauk to Breezy Point, a seaside neighborhood in Queens, on the western end of the Rockaway peninsula, that was inundated by flooding and ripped through by fire spurred from the hurricane.

Just a few days ago, Dennis O'Reilly, a Montauk homeowner whose parents have a house on Breezy Point, explained the depth of the damage he found in his hometown during a phone call with East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson. He wanted to borrow a truck to take supplies to the residential community dominated with firefighters and police.

"We were spared a lot as compared to the tragedy that has taken place to the west," Wilkinson said and he thought, "Wouldn’t it be nice to pay that forward and identify a sister community that’s in need of help?"

Along with O'Reilly, a retired FDNY firefighter, Wilkinson and Town Police Chief Ed Ecker, both of whom live in Montauk, got together with Montauk Fire Department officials and business owners, to gather supplies and they packed up trucks early Sunday morning. A town police car escorted four trucks jam packed full of fresh towels, water, ice — donated by Gosman's — and some food.

Amagansett Fire Department Second Assistant Chief Allen Bennett Jr. drove one of the trucks with fellow members Bill Beckert and Debbie DiSunno. O'Reilly was joined by other Montaukers Joey Lenahan, Dutch Rege and Dave Mambrino. The town sent Police Officer Peter Murray and Ricky Talmage.

Ecker, Wilkinson, and Wilkinson's assistant Johnson Nordlinger helped pack the vehicles this morning, along with many others.

"I think so far this has been a great, great response," Wilkinson said.

"It’s a good way for our community to respond and help those people," he said. "I don’t want to discount any of the difficulties we’ve had, but on a scale basis they’re nothing compared to that."

Details will be announced on Monday on how the community at large can help and what supplies are needed. "The focus this week, because of the weather, will be gloves, blankets, sweaters, hoods, items like that," he said.

Breezy Point "happens to be the most western community that resembles our communities out here," Wilkinson said. "Maybe other townships and villages will try and replicate it for other communities."

Lynn Kaplan November 05, 2012 at 02:44 PM
We would love to help...how do we at Island Group, who have gathered clothes and other items, get the Town to do a pickup here. We have the room to accept bags of supplies.
Debbie A. Astorr November 05, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Thank you for posting this. My roommate from College Kathleen Jacobs grew up in Breezy Point and her brother who lives there now, while his house wasn't affected by the fires is now working a Relief program there and is giving me daily updates as to what they need. Currently amongst the immediate needs are Campers for the out of sate workers to catch a few hours rest. Anyone who knows of any Camper companies please let me know at 516-991-5001 or email daastorr@aol.com. We will make a difference! Debbie
glory days November 06, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Springs F.D. will be taking a box truck in hopefully on Thursday depending on the noreaster, clothes are not needed. What is needed are cleaning supplies, tools, saws. compressors, generators, pumps..anything in good working order, does not have to be pretty, shovels etc. Paper towels, diapers, mops pails. We are told they have enough clothes.


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