NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) –Beach prep has started on Long Island. For the next seven weeks crews will be working hard to get Jones Beach ready for summer crowds.

“It’s great to see that, and of course we’ve had two really hard years. Sandy was devastating,” Massapequa resident, Dr. Cynthia Paulis told CBS 2’s Elise Finch, “We can’t wait for summer. It’s been a long hard winter.”

On Monday, parts of Long Island were busy digging out from under 5 inches of snow. A day later it was all about beach prep.

“They’re clearing sand from the sand fence. The sand fence all winter long catches the windblown sand from the beaches and prevents it from going into the parking fields, the facility buildings. We then pick it up in the spring and grade it back onto the beachfront,” George Gorman, NY State Office Of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, explained.

Pre-season beach clean up is done every year, but this winter was so cold, snowy, and windy that crews have gotten off to a late start and will have far more work to do.

Tuesday’s sunshine, blue skies, and milder temperatures allowed crews to get a lot accomplished.

“I’m really excited that they’re taking care of it and it finally feels like maybe it’s going to start warming up,” Farmingdale resident Nicole Amato said.

The weather also coaxed some people out of their homes and onto the beach for the first time this year.

“Today is April 1, and it’s my first day down here at the beach on the boardwalk getting my exercise,” Susan Degioia said.

Crews will spend the next four weeks returning sand to the beachfront. Then they will start repairing structures along the boardwalk to make sure they are ready for big crowds that are expected over Memorial Day Weekend.

Separate crews will be dredging sand from a nearby boat channel to replenish sand at the Robert Moses State Park beaches, that project is also expected to be completed by Memorial Day.

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