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Pandemic Delays Superstorm Sandy Sewer Upgrades

Superstorm Sandy Floods Lindenhurst, N.Y.
Jason DeCrow
People navigate a flooded street as Hurricane Sandy approaches, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in Lindenhurst, N.Y.

Suffolk County lawmakers want the federal government to extend the deadline for ongoing sewer infrastructure projects halted by the pandemic.

Suffolk had secured over 300 million dollars after Superstorm Sandy to connect 6,000 homes to sewers to help prevent pollution. County Legislator Kevin McCaffrey says the federal government gave them until 2022 to finish those projects.

“The problem is, because of COVID, everything has been set back," McCaffrey says, "There's no way that if we started putting shovels in the ground tomorrow, that they would complete those projects on that time schedule.”

McCaffrey says the new sewer systems would protect Long Island’s bays from contamination when storm runoff causes cesspools to overflow. The sewer extension projects would replace thousands of cesspools and outdated septic systems that cause pollution.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.