Editor's Note: The following was contributed on Friday, Nov. 2 by Suffolk Legislator Thomas Barraga.
[I] recently visited devastated areas of West Islip as well as a number of communities on Fire Island to determine the extent of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
The area south of Montauk Highway in West Islip is devastated with tremendous flood damage to many homes. It looks like the overwhelming majority of homes south of Montauk Highway have incurred major damage. In short every effort must be made to get the electricity back on in these homes. My office has been receiving a large number of calls from residents who are suffering day by day without electricity. We are forwarding the names and addresses to LIPA.
I also visited three communities on Fire Island — Kismet, Atlantique and Ocean Beach. Kismet — fared better compared to neighboring hamlets. Home are structurally in good shape with many suffering from some flood damage. Beach erosion is dramatic with sand from the beach driven back into the hamlet. Community Leadership is impressive. No doubt this community will bounce back.
Atlantique — a disaster — most homes suffered very serious damage — some homes removed from their pilings smashed into other dwellings. Huge amounts of debris — walkways smashed and uprooted. This community needs all the help available but will take years for recovery. Tremendous beach erosion — no dunes left.
Ocean Beach — flooding on streets continues. Most homes suffered flood damage but still are intact. A number of homes directly on the beach are completely destroyed — tremendous beach erosion.
Overall not as bad as I expected from news reports. Community leadership strong and positive. If I had to rate each community based on the physical condition post Sandy I would rate Kismet at C+; Atlantique F; Ocean Beach C and West Islip south of Montauk Highway D.