NEW YORK - Across Nassau and Suffolk counties, Superstorm Sandy destroyed homes, submerged roads and wiped beaches out altogether.
While the Town of Southampton was spared some of the devastation compared to other coastal communities, small storms, even seven years later are a reminder of how vulnerable the area really is.
Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman took these photos of dune damage from recent coastal activity. Businesses along this stretch of Dune Road in Hampton Bays are protected by this one berm that has already been rebuilt several times.
“We're trying to locate the County dredge here and pump about 90,000 cubic yards of sand onto the beach,” Schneiderman said. “We’re also hoping for the federal government to step in and bring a much larger ocean-based dredge in to move about 800,000 cubic yards of material.”
According to officials, a tropical storm or low-end hurricane hits our area every 20-25 years. The last one was Gloria in 1985.
“One of the things we know is that sea level has been slowly rising over the last 100 years,” said Nelson Vaz with the National Weather Service in Upton, New York. We had about a one-foot rise in sea level. Looking at the warming planet - it will continue if not accelerate.
Farther east in Montauk, officials have even considered moving its downtown inland. One thing is for certain - in the event of another storm, the National Weather Service has improved its technology to better predict and depict weather events.
“With a better science and better communication we can help emergency management and decision-makers make property and lifesaving decisions,” Vaz said.
Learning from the past to improve in the future.