The Army Corps of Engineers is telling residents of the Rockaways their beach will be restored over the summer, but officials say it's just a temporary fix for the kind of storm damage that only happens once every 250 years. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the beach in the Rockaways with the biggest waves ever recorded there. One, according to the Army Corps of Engineers, was 32.5 feet.
The water washed away 1.5 million cubic yards of sand, more than enough to fill the Empire State Building. But the feds say they'll replace the sand before next year.
"Our task is to construct a restored beach to the original authorized design which is a beach sand and a beach berm plus 10 feet above sea level and at least 100 feet wide," said Dan Falt of the Army Corps of Engineers.
The Army Corps told a Community Board meeting packed with Rockaway storm victims the Rehab work will go from Beach 19th to Beach 149th street. Contractors will close 1,000 feet of beach at a time for three to four day stretches. The whole project will take four to six months but it can't start before June.
"We have to get environmental permits, we have to make sure that the dredge bar sites are clean and proper and appropriate. We have to do a federal contracted process which does take some time," Falt said.
From the Daily News:
But many were disappointed it didn’t include more concrete proposals for long-term solutions, such as additional rock jetties or dunes.
“I was expecting to hear more about protection and protection now, not a temporary fix, a band-aid,” said Danny Ruscillo Jr., a Rockaway Park resident and civic activist.
Falt said the Army Corps will work with the city and the community on more permanent solutions for beach’s chronic erosion issues.
Sandy slammed into Rockaway, destroying whole portions of the boardwalk. It triggered fires and flooding that left the peninsula reeling.
Residents said they feel particularly vulnerable without the boardwalk as a barrier.