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Nov 8, 2012 11:41 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Sand Berms Mostly Survive Wednesday Nor'easter

Nov 13, 2012 5:29 PM

The nor’easter that swept through the region on Wednesday and early Thursday appears to have caused less damage on the heels of Hurricane Sandy than some feared it might.

Wednesday night’s winds seem to have largely spared south-facing beaches and oceanfront properties from further severe erosion. The storm’s waves and storm surge ate away much of the sand gains that beaches had experienced since Sandy passed, but the water did not reach the weakened dunes, exposed house foundations or the berms of sand that many homeowners had piled on the beach as added protection.

East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson was out in the field on Thursday morning surveying damage. A storm surge pounded areas on the northern, bayside of town that were already affected by Hurricane Sandy, such as Gerard Drive in East Hampton, which has about 20 to 30 homes, he said.

“Gerard Drive took a beating again, and some of the properties on the north side, because there was good surge that was going around last night,” he said.

Erosion to Montauk’s beaches was “contained on the south side” compared to the hit they took during hurricane, he said. Many people who regained power after several days without it lost power again. Springs was particularly hard hit with power outages, he said.

“We’re dealing with day 10 of this and it’s a very, very frustrating exercise for the residents,” he said.

“The good news from the oceanfront is that all the homes that suffered damage during Hurricane Sandy all fared well yesterday,” said Marty Shea, Southampton Town’s chief environmental analyst, on Thursday morning. “Emergency sand berms held in virtually every case.”

Mr. Shea said at one house the berm had to be replaced in the middle of the storm. Another property installed one Geocube. The town is in the process of issuing permits, which are being authorized in cases where homes are being undermined. Virtually every landowner along the oceanfront is looking at a dune restoration plan. He added, “We’re all hoping for a calm winter at this point.”

The water did rise in Sag Harbor, but not to levels seen last week. “It was nowhere near what it was for Sandy. The tide did come,” said Sag Harbor Village Mayor Brian Gilbride on Thursday. “We do have some damage on the transient docks.” The water levels did not come near what was seen during Sandy last week at Long Wharf and Bay Street, though village officials left a berm near the windmill by Long Wharf, he said.

The village’s Main Street lost power for a little after about 8 p.m. last night, but it came back on later that evening.

Nine people went to Southampton Town shelters on Wednesday night, mostly from the Flanders area, where flooding was moderate to severe again, according to Captain Robert Pearce of the Southampton Town Police. The town had issued a voluntary evacuation notice for low-lying areas of the town.

Capt. Pearce said the Town Police have been getting assistance, including extra patrols, from the State Police in Flanders and East Hampton Village Police in Sagaponack. The departments are working overnight shifts, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., but they can’t sustain that schedule, so the town plans to add patrol cars to both areas until power is restored, according to Capt. Pearce, adding that Flanders is still without power, and many houses are vacant, so “it’s a target.”

Dune Road remains closed between Ponquogue and Tiana beaches, though the section east of Ponquogue opened to traffic Thursday morning. Alex Gregor, Southampton Town highway superintendent, said it could be weeks before that stretch is passable to vehicles and possibly a month or more before it will reopen again to the public.

Westhampton Beach Village survived the storm with no serious damage, according to Mayor Conrad Teller. One power line came down on Bishop Place and is being repaired. Areas of West Hampton Dunes without power were slated to have service restored today.

Westhampton Beach fire officials responded to Main Street on Thursday afternoon after reports of a down electrical wire on a car. Upon arriving, officials found the live wire dangling from a tree and draped across the top of an SUV parked underneath, and also leading into the street. The street has been blocked off, and the Long Island Power Authority has been called. There were no sparks from the wire, and nobody was in danger.

Quogue Village Mayor Peter Sartorius said this morning that the village fared well—he said he was not aware of any further damage or flooding.

In Montauk, there’s still a very strong wind on the north side and a big chop in Block Island Sound. The beach along Soundview Drive basically has no sand—it’s rock rubble. On the ocean side, the east end of South Emerson Avenue, from about the Royal Atlantic to the Surf Club, has an army of earth-movers working on the beach on the west side of Royal Atlantic, where the water seems to have receded, and on South Essex Street near the Surf Club, where huge mounds of sand are being placed on the road in addition to a mound already blocking the entrance to the beach there.

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I have people I know that live around 800 Meadow Ln, how did the houses fare in that area? Hoping they are alright,
By kgrandia (1), Takoma Park on Nov 8, 12 3:04 PM
I believe that area did OK, because the beach east of Shinnecock Inlet is wider than most.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 8, 12 6:53 PM