We would like to set up a discussion to exchange ideas about what all this means for the future.The Mayor:Hurricane Sandy Update – Friday November 2, 2012
Mayor Cox sez:"We are acutely aware of how anxious everyone is to get out to the beach and examine their homes and witness the state of the village. However, as you can appreciate, the condition of the village infrastructure is too compromised at this point to permit a general return of residents safely. This is a decision
that has been made by the Suffolk County Executive and is being strictly enforced. Access over the bridge to the Robert Moses Park is blocked by police vehicles and only authorized emergency services personnel are permitted access at this time. Fire Island Ferry service has been ordered suspended until further notice. Suffolk County Marine Police and Town Harbor Police boats are
turning back private boaters who attempt to go over to the Fire Island communities.
Our plan is to restore the village infrastructure as quickly as possible. We are working on restoring our water supply and creating safe access down several of our boardwalks. At this point our water system is pressurized for fire fighting capabilities but is not fit for drinking due to the fact that there was a rupture that occurred during the storm. We expect this to be rectified within a week.
The question on everyone's mind is when can they get in to see their homes. The answer that is too early to forecast when conditions will permit a controlled reentry but we are many days away from that. We hope to be able to structure limited access next weekend, but that is subject to many variables outside our
control. The Suffolk County Emergency Services Command has a mandatory evacuation order in effect and an executive order barring access to any one except essential services workers.
LIPA officials are on the island doing an assessment of the work needed torestore power. We believe that power will be restored to the Fire House andVillage Hall this week, but we will not reenergize to individual homes until we complete a house to house inspection by the electrical contractors that we have engaged. They will be beginning this work this weekend.
While many have seen disturbing footage of the devastation to the New Jerseyshore communities as well as the Rockaways and Long Beach communities closer to home, we have been spared that level of devastation. We have no homes that have been destroyed. The scene is NOT reminiscent of the vintage photos of the '38 storm. We have been hit hard, but we will be able to recover and are working feverishly toward that end. The water is receding from the center of the village, which was inundated. There are many low-lying homes that will have hadwater incursion.As of this weekend we will have an emergency team of plumbers and electricians in the village to begin the process of inspection and, as conditions permit, winterization of homes. We hope to have our general contractors available within the next 48 hours.
On Monday we will be setting up a temporary office on the mainland that will be staffed during the business day to facilitate a better operation and improved flow of information.
We will continue to try and keep the lines of communication open, although it is difficult as many of the Long Island communities to which we have sought refugeare still without power as well. In the interim I ask that you bear with us and continue your patient waiting.
Denis O'Shea sez: I'm grateful that we have security and law enforcement prohibiting access, there are probably plenty of urchins with boats who would loot our homes if given the chance. --Denis O'Shea
C. L. Ball responds: "urchins with boats who would loot our homes if given the chance." I think persons with boats large enough to carry equipment and capable of weathering the storm or being stored safely during it are not likely to be in the looting business.
Gregg Dietrich discusses: It is one thing to "reoccupy" (which is a ridiculous notion since the island was essentially closed for the winter anyway), it is another to have "controlled access" for homeowners. If you look at the destruction Sandy has wrought, Fire Island is the only community where the homeowners do not have access to their homes. The Jersey shore, LBI, Staten Island all have access to their homes in order to assess damage, file insurance claims, and recover possessions. Many of these other areas are far more dangerous than FI. -Gregg Dietrich
JOH sez: Don't jump to conclusions. Pretty much you have to see something like this for yourself before you form opinions. Who can ever forget going over on the ferry after evacuations, like after Donna in 1960, or being there during Hurricane Carol in 1954, or going over after the March 1962 storm, or lots of other times. Mayor Ludlow presided over a number of bad storms throughout the 1950s. Beach replenishments too. It was comforting crossing the bay with your neighbors on that first boat back to the island after a storm. Getting there promptly helped alleviate a lot of anxiety. After an hour or so relieved neighbors are talking: "how did you do?" ..."Not a thing." or "lost some shingles." Generally, not all was lost. And you felt better. Aired out the house and went home for the winter.
We do know of at least one roof being partially blown off in this storm; you have seen pictures of a few houses dangling at the edge of the sea. Ye Olde Well is a little lopsided. Not all is lost. Not all the boardwalks are "roller coaster." Atlantic Walk is still level, just raised maybe three feet higher than before. But still level. And a new section of Pacific Walk from Beach Plum to Harbor Prom came through with flying colors. Maybe most of the houses have no damage at all. Maybe just those fogged up windows. --JO'H
For the future:
Put Wooden boardwalks everywhere?
Replace all wooden boardwalks with concrete walks everywhere?
Wall off the Cove?
Re open mosquito ditches?
Rebuild the beach?
Pump in sand from the ocean?
Move sand that moved north back to the dune area?
Pay for it with tax increases?
Float some bonds?
Get the Feds to pay like when we had a WPA?
Let Nature just move the island northward?http://www.salon.com/2012/11/04/hurricane_sandy_rebuilding_is_madness/
Let nature move the island westward and let fire Island Inlet fill in?
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"All of our homes, including the most endangered can be saved, and our village restored, if we mobilize to get emergency sand on the beachfront. That is the challenge confronting the board and all of us, and I believe that goal is entirely realistic."
Billy Cunningham Sez and remembers:
First of all, let me thank Jim O'Hare, our webmaster for the essential Saltaire38 website which continues to provide invaluable and timely information about our beloved Saltaire in good times and bad. In our post-Hurricane Sandy world, this service is more essential than ever.