In Tuesday’s paper we reported on the fuel-oil spill at and subsequent evacuation of The Highlands at Rye, a 99-unit apartment building in Rye. Like many buildings in Rye, The Highlands took a sustained significant damage from Irene. The building’s bottom-floor apartments were flooded and, exacerbating conditions, a fuel tank ruptured, covering much of the property with heating oil and leaving a stench that few could endure.
Tuesday afternoon, Bob Cohen, of R.A. Cohen and Associates, Inc., which owns The Highlands, said about 1,800 gallons of oil spilled. On Monday, county health officials said the fuel tank was big enough to hold 7,000 and therefore could have spilled that much.
Cohen said he’s been in regular touch, via e-mail, with tenants and has made arrangements for some at a hotel in Elmsford. Others have been told to make other arrangements and that they will be reimbursed.
Each household will get $142 plus tax per night and $71 for food and incidentals per person per day. Rents will be suspended while the cleanup, which began Sunday night, continues, he said.
It will likely be weeks, not days, before any residents can return to their homes.
“We’re doing our best in a terrible situation,” Cohen said.
R.A. Cohen bought the building in September of 2007.