Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Evening News: Confirmed: Hopes for controlled Re Entry by end of week, but consider Son of Sandy. No Web site up, but office in CI; Mario and Fair Harbor Report: GEO CUBES COMING TO THE BEACH?

Monday Evening News:

Lots of news. Not a bad report from Mario. No Village website updates, but satellite office  is up in CI, phone #  (631) 583-5566  but don't call for updates  on beach or your particular  home. (Call for Election results? Call for a ride?) but they are  really trying  to get out information.
Structural report on your home will be posted on the web site.  (Not clear if there is any privacy issue here, telling the whole world about your house.)
Of interest: both Fair Harbor and Saltaire are talking about similar actions regarding erosion control. See GEO CUBES. Helpful hints from Fair Harbor about what stuff DEC will let you do when the time comes.

Report From  Mario

Dear Saltairian:

As we continue with the clean/up restoration efforts going forward, I or Mayor Cox will attempt to provide daily updates, and to keep them brief and thus readable.

We've made good progress on multiple fronts over the last two days. Highlights

• While the Fire Company and Saltaire Security complete their inspections and securing of propane tanks, the Village has commenced a house-by-house inspection of electrical components by a licensed electrician to grade the condition of the electrical components up to the main circuit breaker. The purpose is to address problem-areas prior to LIPA reenergizing the Village, thereby  minimizing the risk of fire.  It will also identify potentially unsafe wiring inside the structures that will have to be addressed at a later date prior to homeowners being able to turn on the main breaker. This process will require access to your homes, which we will accomplish through contractors, Barry Wetherall, or a phone call to you.
• Structural inspections have been completed for all homes. Once the reports are processed, we will upload them to our website so you can view your specific report. Their verbal report confirmed our initial assessment that the Village faired very well compared to other parts of the Island. However, repair and remediation will be necessary for those homes with low elevations that suffered water intrusion.
• We set up a temporary office in Central Islip. Our main phone number (631) 583-5566 is operational and will be forwarded to the mainland office.  Nancy and Donna will be answering the phone during normal business hours. I ask that you NOT call for updates on the beach or your particular home, which will tie up the lines and slow down our management of the restoration.  Please reserve calls for urgent business.
• Our maintenance crew is making good progress on two fronts. The clearing crew continues to cut up and remove downed trees for chipping at the maintenance yard. They have been joined by a expert chain saw team supplied through Suffolk County EOC, and they have greatly accelerated this process and helped with the larger more difficult trees.  Concurrently, a separate crew is focusing on walk realignment, which will require a much longer commitment, but we have made a good start on that as well.
• We lost much of the dune line along the ocean front.   In general, however, the eastern portion of our beach front survived better than the western portion. This is an obvious concern and one that has our highest priority. We have begun plowing sand from the over-washed sections of beach to create a remedial barrier as we await a longer term project.  Pacific Walk and Surf Walk in particular have been targeted.
• We have contracted for a beach front survey to determine whether there remains sufficient sand to permit another beach scrapping project.  We have lined up equipment to commence this project IF, and only if,  the survey determines that there is sufficient sand on the beach - such a project will not be possible in advance of the storm forecasted for later this week.
• We are also pursuing approval to implement the placement of an artificial barrier of "geo-cubes" along the beach-front.  These are large (3 cubic feet per bag) bags of sand that would be placed along the former dune line.
• Our Fire Company Volunteers and Village staff has been working non-stop, seven days a week to prepare the village for a safe re-entry.  They deserve our heartfelt thanks. We were the first community on the beach to permit the return of essential services (plumbers and electricians) workers into the Village.  They have been working since last Saturday preparing homes for winterization.  Today we became the first community to permit the return of our general contractors via a special ferry service to Saltaire.  This will continue to facilitate the transport of approved contractors and their crews only.  
• In consultation with Chief Reiger and the Village Staff, the Mayor will make the decision on re-entry.  We are currently targeting a controlled re-entry for the homeowners by the end of the week.  This is subject to change if the approaching storm compromises our preparedness. We will have staging areas set up for the disposal of food that has spoiled as well as other refuse and debris. As soon as the decision is made and the details are ready they will be posted on our web site and emailed to the residents.
• If you are a registered voter in Suffolk County, and have not yet applied for an Absentee Ballot, voting in person  will be held at the Bay Shore Middle School at 393 Brook Avenue, Bay Shore New York.

OK.  I lied about being brief. There is a lot to cover. Mario


The members of the FH Erosion Control Board have been in regular contact since the storm and had a telephone meeting Sunday.  We want to assure the community that we are on top of the beach and bay situation, in touch with people who can help, and ready to move forward promptly.
Land Use Ecological Services, the company that (among other things) gets DEC and other permits and that we and most other Fire Island communities have used for many years, went to the island at the end of the week. We are waiting for them to get back to us with short term and long term recommendations and costs. We expect to hear from them shortly.

In our discussion this morning, we agreed that debris removal and back scraping (moving sand back to the beach from the walks) are priorities. Another possible step is buying sand cubes (think big sand bags) and depositing them on the beach and to protect bay walk. We are also exploring trucking in sand and using bulldozers to push it up to the dune area Also, if we meet the requirements for beach scraping, we will do that. And finally, the best solution is to pump sand from Fire Island inlet back to the beach; this is the preferred longer term solution. We intend to work closely with Land Use to explore the various alternatives and work with other Fire Island communities.

In addition to the community actions, individuals may need additional services relating to stabilization of storm-damaged homes and decks, or sand or sand bag placement in addition to what the community plans.

Some possible actions the DEC allows (with permit):

Stabilization of existing functional buildings/decks with temporary bracing;

Construction of 4' wide walkway(s) necessary to access existing buildings;

Installation of four (4) rows of sandbags or one (1) row of sand cubes at the base of the existing eroded scarp;

Placement of sand at the toe of eroded dune scarps;

Re-construction of stairways;

Those who may need individual action can call Land Use at 631-727-2400.  Our contacts there are Chuck Bowman ( and Kelly Risotto (

We don't know all the costs at this point and hope the community will support our efforts to make good decisions quickly. Mobilization to Fire Island is often the most expensive part of any operation and if we get word that we can join another community to reduce the cost of a remedy we deem appropriate, we may jump on the opportunity to get things done. Of course, we intend to apply for FEMA reimbursement wherever available.

We will report back further as there are further developments.

Erica Fried, Howard Chatzinoff, Judy Corcoran, Jerome Feder, Wells Newell

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