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Photo courtesy of Devon O'Connor
Photo courtesy of Devon O'Connor

Winter Storm Stella damaged Whitestone‘s most visible public greeting, but it will be repaired and reinstalled soon, a local civic president promised.

The “Welcome to Whitestone” sign at Francis Lewis Boulevard and the Cross Island Parkway service road was brought down and disfigured by winds and heavy ice introduced by the March 14 winter storm. However, Welcome to Whitestone Civic Association president Devon O’Connor wants residents to know that the sign is in good hands.

“This afternoon, my team and I went to pick up the sign and will be sending it out for restoration and needed repairs,” O’Connor said.

The Welcome to Whitestone Civic Association was formed in 2011. The sign was installed in November that same year and was funded directly by members of the community.

Welcome to Whitestone sign

The Welcome to Whitestone sign prior to the storm. (Photo via Facebook/Welcome to Whitestone)

O’Connor said he could not provide an estimate as to when the sign will be ready to go back up, but said the civic group is working as quickly as it can.

“I’m hoping as soon as possible,” O’Connor said. “[The sign] is all banged up; it’s definitely going to need some repairs.”

The sign suffered some dents and may need fresh coat of paint, O’Conner continued. He believes the screws holding the sign to its posts came loose during the storm and the sign then fell and weathered some damage.

The civic president was alerted to the fallen sign by a series of phone call and emails from concerned residents. He later went to the location and found the sign face down in the snow.

“I’d like to thank the many Whitestone residents that reached out to inform me that the sign had fallen,” O’Connor said. “I’m glad to see that people still have pride in their community.”

O’Connor said the civic association plans to put up a temporary banner at the location to inform residents that the sign was damaged by the snow, not by vandals, and that it will be reinstalled as soon as possible.

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