Long Island town uses drone to survey coastline

- A small camera on an aerial drone can capture a large space. The Town of Babylon is using the tech to help officials appraise storm damage.

"We're trying to capture the facility as it is now," Director of Operations John Cifelli said. "Trying to emphasize the areas that would be vulnerable" in a storm.

Babylon was on the receiving end of Superstorm Sandy nearly five years ago. Tanner Park alone sustained close to $2 million in damages. When it came to federal reimbursement, officials had pictures of the devastation but didn't have many images from before the storm.

Cifelli is using this drone as an archival tool to document what each facility looks like.

"It's a good starting point for them to see 'OK, this is what the facility, the property looked like prior to the storm and this is the damage that he have because of the storm,'" he said.

A spokesperson for FEMA said the agency does not require local municipalities to keep visual records of their properties but does encourage it because it will only help with assessments.

Cifelli is starting with waterfront properties, including Gilgo and Cedar beaches. The plan is to work his way inland and finish by early next year.

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