As federal, county and local officials finally get a chance to survey the damage to Fire Island from last week's major storm force Sandy, the early reports indicate major changes could be ahead on both an ecological and recreational level.
FOR A LOOK AT BEACH DAMAGE CHECK OUT THIS PHOTO GALLERY.
The barrier beach suffered four breaches. One, in the Fire Island Pines, has already naturally corrected itself. The other three include one west of Moriches Inlet, a second east of Smith Point County Park and a third at Cupsogue Beach.
The Army Corps of Engineers hopes to begin repair work on two breaches next week, according to Newsday.
Fixing the breach at Smith Point County Park in Shirley will require 50,000 cubic yards of sand, Bill Hillman, chief engineer for the Suffolk County Public Works Department, is quoted as stating in the WSJ article.
But it's the erosion that appears to be the top concern as it's wiped out a good portion of the beach's protective dunes. As Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone stated earlier this week to Newday, the impact is one of devastation.
"It will have changed in a number of ways," Bellone told Newsday.
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As the Wall Street Journal is reporting, Sandy caused as much erosion in two days as what’s taken place in the span of 30 years. According to WSJ, Fire Island dunes moved about 70 feet landward and dropped as much as 10 feet in height.
One community that came out relatively unscathed is the Fire Island Pines, where business is still rebuilding from a fire in 2011.
According to an article at Queerty, Fire Island Pines Property Owner’s Association President Jay Pagano reported no homes were lost, unlike in Davis Park where Sandy took down seven homes with her high winds and water surges.
Pagano told Queerty the Pines suffered the least amount of impact as the harbor survived and most damage was related to decks and bulkhead destruction.