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Sandy Swamps Local Beaches, Damages Marinas

Smithtown officials are awaiting estimates of storm's total damage to the area's parks and beaches.

 

Smithtown Town officials are beginning to calculate the toll of Hurricane Sandy on its parks and beaches, now that most of the town's roadways are clear of debris.

Charles Barrett, Smithtown's director of parks, buildings, and grounds, said the storm's surge flooded the north shore beaches, whose marinas and other buildings took a significant hit. 

"There was more than five feet of water in the parking lot," Barrett said, referencing Long Beach.

Long Beach residents were encouraged by town officials to evacuate the area ahead of Hurricane Sandy as waves began washing out local roadways. After the storm, standing water damaged the town beach's electrical system at the marina by shorting out its electrical panels and the building's generator, which will need to be replaced.

In addition the generator, Barrett said the water heavily damaged the marina's concession stand. There are refrigerators, freezers and other electrical equipment that will need to be replaced before its can open next summer.

"We are waiting to get quotes on the costs now," the parks director said.

Hurricane Sandy had a similar impact on Short Beach in Nissequogue. The waterlogged concession stand will need to have its refrigerators, freezers and other electrical equipment replaced.

The equipment, however costly, can be replaced. Barrett and his staff can't undo Sandy's impact on Kings Parks Bluffs and Callahans Beach in Fort Salonga.

"There are changes due to substantial erosion at Callahans and Kings Park Bluffs," Barrett said.

Moving further inland, the town's parks fared significantly better than Suffolk County's recreational facilities. Newsday reports members of the Greenbelt Trail Conference have been working countless hours to remove fallen trees and debris from local hiking trails in Heckscher State Park and Sunken Meadow Park, with plans of tackling Blydenburgh County Park in Hauppauge next weekend.

By contrast, Barrett said there was no significant damage to the town's park buildings, like those at Hoyt Farm in Commack, with only a few sections of fencing needing to be replaced.

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