LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Long Beach has come a long way from the devastation of superstorm Sandy, but the work isn’t done, and residents and business owners told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs that they won’t stop until it’s all finished.
The noisy equipment one hears there is the sound of progress as the city continues its recovery.
“75 percent of the businesses are now back. The town is coming back. We’re ready for the beach season,” Michael Kerr, president of the Chamber of Commerce, told Xirinachs.
Even the real estate market is on the rebound, according to agent Alex Rubin.
“The real estate market, as of today, is back to normal prices,” he said.
The biggest symbolic loss was Long Beach’s iconic 2.2-mile-long boardwalk. That won’t be fully back until the fall.
“The boardwalk is missed, you know. It’s a big part of the culture, socialization, you know, of Long Beach. People meet each other. It’s our backyard,” said longtime resident Gail McGowan. “But we still have the beach, and everybody’s looking forward to the summer. Cause that’s really when the energy really comes back.”
“We don’t have our boardwalk, but we have our beautiful beach and our stores are ready to operate. The restaurants are rearing to go,” Kerr said.
Kerr also said a third of the population still hasn’t returned to their homes.
But residents and business owners beam over progress made.
Surf shop owner Luke Hamlet said only another hurricane could dampen their spirits.
“It’s in the back of eveybody’s mind now, especially now we’re already coming into the next hurricane season,” he said.
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