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Summer After Sandy: A Story Of Success From West Hampton Dunes

Village Suffered Very Little Damage Despite Strength Of Sandy
West Hampton Dunes, N.Y. (credit: Mike Xirinachs / WCBS 880)

West Hampton Dunes, N.Y. (credit: Mike Xirinachs / WCBS 880)

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WEST HAMPTON DUNES, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - In this week’s Summer After Sandy report, we have a look at a Long Island shoreline village that learned a big lesson from a storm over two decades ago.

West Hampton Dunes is a community that lost nearly 200 homes to the Atlantic Ocean during a 1992 nor’easter, but the result was quite different during superstorm Sandy in 2012.

There was no significant home or infrastructure damage, WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported.

“It was incredible to me… The elevation of the beach and the road had been fine,” Mayor Gary Vegliante told Xirinachs.

Vegliante largely credits the Army Corps of Engineers‘ redesign of its beaches along with community cooperation.

“The families of this community paid for this sand fencing. The homeowners who live on the beach paid their own to fertilize and plant those dunes. That brought it to a hundred-year-level storm protection,” he said.

The mayor’s message to Long Beach and other hurricane devastated communities is “Get the Army Corps design, listen to what they say, participate with the community in what they ask you to do and you can turn back Mother Nature.”

“It’s like open heart surgery. Everybody says, ‘Let Mother Nature take its course’ until they have a heart attack,” he added. “And all of the sudden, [Mother] Nature’s not such a big thing. Same thing with the beaches.”
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