Initial reports of the storm’s impact on Fire Island were dire. And while it did breach the 32-mile island in two places, flood many of the 17 communities — during the storm, the bay and the ocean met, subsuming much of the island under feet of water — and ruin dozens of oceanfront houses, the verdict now is that it could have been far worse.
We were lucky. But we cannot discount role of our preparedness as well. For years we have invested heavily in the management and nurturing of our beachfronts. The fact that none of our ocean front homes were lost in the face of a storm surge that exceeded predictions of a “hundred year storm” is in large measure attributable to the condition of our managed beach and dune system."
--Saltaire Mayor Cox, letter to constituents
"The dunes were demolished, but without their protection it would have been much worse," said Malcolm Bowman, a professor of physical oceanography at Stony Brook University.