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Dec 8, 2009 7:39 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Bishop asks Paterson for disaster area designation

Dec 8, 2009 7:39 PM

U.S. Representative Tim Bishop of Southampton is asking New York Governor David Paterson to declare the South Shore of Long Island a disaster area in the wake of Tropical Storm Ida.

In a letter sent Friday, Mr. Bishop urged the governor to request a federal disaster declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Agency so that Suffolk County communities whose beaches were affected by the storm would become eligible for federal disaster aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts.

Estimates of damages in Suffolk County from Tropical Storm Ida exceed $26 million, according to a press release from Mr. Bishop’s office.

In mid-November, a nor’easter with waves that reached 14 feet high and winds between 30- and 60-miles per hour battered local beaches. In parts of East Hampton, Bridgehampton and Quogue, the storm washed away as much as 50 feet of dunes. The damage has left beach fronts with little protection against further damage going into the winter storm season

“It is critical for the governor to issue a disaster declaration as soon as possible for the South Shore of Long Island to ensure our communities have adequate protection against future storms, and that our maritime industries do not face further economic burden,” Mr. Bishop stated in the press release.

Mr. Bishop said in the letter that pending the governor’s decision, he would reach out to federal, state and local agencies to determine the most effective way to move forward with recovery efforts.

East Hampton Town Natural Resources Director Larry Penny said he took officials from FEMA, the State Emergency Management Office and the Army Corps of Engineers on a tour of the beaches to assess the damage. While they did not give him an estimate, Mr. Penny said he thought it would cost about $500,000 to repair the damage to East Hampton beaches. He said that the last time Suffolk County was declared a disaster area was after a nor’easter in 2007 and East Hampton Town received $140,000 in aid.

“This is worse than the one in 2007,” he said. “I think it’s a very good thing that Tim did that.”

In his letter to Mr. Paterson, Mr. Bishop wrote that Suffolk communities have spent millions of dollars to protect homes and assets from shore erosion and to maintain navigable channels for commercial and recreational boating and fishing.

“Unfortunately, many of these long-standing efforts have now been undone,” the letter states. “In my district, for example, homeowners in the Village of Sagaponack risk losing their homes should another significant storm hit the south shore. The Village of Quogue and the Town of Southampton are on the verge of losing significant investments in infrastructure due to beach erosion.”

Mr. Penny said that in East Hampton, the biggest problem was not the loss of sand but the navigable channels. He said that four channels, including the east channel of Napeague Harbor, are now completely closed off, and two others are partially closed off, making it difficult for baymen to get through them.

Mr. Bishop’s letter also pointed out the importance of the fishing industry to Long Island.

“The fishing industry of Eastern Long Island has been hard hit by the nation’s economic downturn and depends on the maintenance of navigable channels to bring their fish to port,” he wrote. “Federal disaster assistance can ensure that the many inlets and channels of the South Shore will allow their boats to dock safely.”

In Quogue, sand and dunes were eroded from under the municipal pavilion and Mayor Peter Sartorius said officials from FEMA have also been to the beaches there to assess the damage. He said he applauds Mr. Bishop’s effort and that if FEMA doesn’t supply aid, the Village will have to dip into its own funds to repair the damage.

“It will be expensive,” he said. “But we’ve got to have a beach facility, so we sort of have to do it.”

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By ELECTRICUTIONER (65), east islip/montauk on Dec 5, 09 11:38 AM
mother nature has no boundaries...when will people learn?! The local residents understand what will happen and most would agree at this time to NOT put millions into these stupid unrealistic projects...nothing more than Tim Bishop pandering to the elite of Sagaponack....how many times will that community continue to show how selfish and self-centered they are?!!!And how Tim Bishop takes no thought on anything he does...just voting yes on any and all issues... DEMOCRAP!
By UNITED states CITIZEN (207), SOUTHAMPTON on Dec 9, 09 11:31 AM
What Bishop is talking about is damage to the barrier beach. This storm was not even a minimal hurricane and it did damage that Bishop considers deserves federal disaster designation and $26M. When a genuine hurricane strikes, the barrier beach homes will be wiped out and the damage will be in the billions. Read some of the description of the Hurricane of '38 for a concept of what a real hurricane strike is capable of doing. (And THAT hurricane was only a Category 3.)

After that devastating ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Dec 5, 09 2:13 PM
2 members liked this comment
HHS: " the state should intervene and prevent rebuilding."

Hear hear!

What a boondoggle waste of resources to rebuild the West End of the Barrier Beach ten years ago, and into what??? A bunch of million dollar, taxpayer-insured homes crowded onto an especially fragile section of the barrier beach.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Dec 5, 09 8:35 PM
Do beach front home owners need relief. Perhaps this money could be spent more productively. As an ultra liberal democrat I am shocked at Tim Bishops elitist request.
By doremeptb (2), Southampton on Dec 5, 09 5:54 PM
Not me. He is just trying to get some pork for the homeboys. That's the way the game is played in D.C.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Dec 5, 09 6:15 PM
Timid Timmy constructs make believe disaster for millionaires attempting to live in mansions on a moving beach. Taxpayers foot the bill. FUMIGATE CONGRESS
Dump Timmy
By wendel (7), Miller Place on Dec 5, 09 7:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
Timid Timmy constructs make believe disaster for millionaires attempting to live in mansions on a moving beach. Taxpayers foot the bill. FUMIGATE CONGRESS
Dump Timmy
By wendel (7), Miller Place on Dec 5, 09 7:33 PM
That is easy for you to say up there in Miller Place.

Thank goodness for the efforts of Tim Biship and his leadeship in taking the lead with this issue.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Dec 5, 09 9:22 PM
If he didn't want to spend so much of our money on illegals there would be plenty to fix the beach all the way to Maine.
Typical Politics.
By double-D (96), southampton on Dec 6, 09 8:12 AM
Yes, that's right, everything comes back to undocumented workers. How do you every expect to get anything accomplished if all you do is blame those who have nothing to do with our problems? These kinds of ridiculous assertions sidetrack progress, which is just what the right wants.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Dec 6, 09 11:12 AM
It is a multibillion dollar legitamate problem which is draining or resources. I am no hater. Legalize them all. Then it would be as hard for them to get help as us citizens.And the tax base would get help. No political party here. Their both pathetic. Just stating the obvious. I don't concider a multibillion dollar problem a ridiculous assertation. It scares me that many do.
By double-D (96), southampton on Dec 6, 09 9:06 PM
Double-D....you need to get a grip on reality. Our Congressman is trying to help the shoeline. Why must you all always go to this issue??? This has NOTHING to do with illegal aiens.
Again, thanks to Time Bishop for continuing to be a leader in our communities and helping wiht this serious issue.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Dec 6, 09 10:21 AM
Washinton couldn't print enough money to battle mother nature.
I find it sad that so many bloggers wanted to hang Ms. Kabot for breaking the law yet people who enter our country illegally should be protected. Double standard garbage. Typical among both parties.
Don't want a neighbor? Buy both lots. Don't want to watch your house float away? Don't build on the water.
The river deltas and flood plain areas are major aggricultural areas which supply the world with food. What ...more
By double-D (96), southampton on Dec 6, 09 9:47 PM
Read this:


oral argument before the US Supreme Court on Dec. 2, 2009


careful, it might make you go berserk.
Dec 7, 09 8:31 AM appended by Publius
In short: Oceanfront property owners have brought a law suit against the State of Florida because the State DID add sand to the beach. They contend that the State turned their waterfront property into water view property because the public area below the high tide mark was expanded by the addition of sand. They are suing under the Fifth Amendment claiming they have suffered an uncompensated taking.
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 7, 09 8:31 AM
The system is broken. I pay 15K a year for house inurance. It covers a rebuild so it has little to do with current economic value (my purchase or potential sale). Worse yet there is a hurricane deductible of 5%. That means I pay 5% of any losses. On a 2M house that is 100K. Since my house survived 1938, one can assume it'll survive another hurricane (I am not on Dune road or the bay). Logic says cancel the insurance and roll the dice for the next 10 years (not a bad bet really) BUT the mortgage ...more
By Hambone (514), New York on Dec 7, 09 9:05 AM
The right will attack Bishop no matter what he does, even if it means bringing money and jobs to LI
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Dec 7, 09 9:40 AM
Please don't tell your friends in Washington what comes after a trillion.
By double-D (96), southampton on Dec 7, 09 5:21 PM
Considering Bush and a republic controlled congress spent like drunken sailors on war (which he did off the books) and tax breaks to the rich and took us from a surplus to a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit, perhaps you should ask your friends in Washington
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Dec 8, 09 10:38 AM
Isn't it scary to imagine that that's a drop in the bucket compared to the spending going on now.

By double-D (96), southampton on Dec 8, 09 5:49 PM
Hambone. "cancel the insurance and roll the dice for the next ten years. Not a bad bet." Before doing that don't forget that your insurance also covers for liabilities. With a country ful of lawyers and everyone sue happy I would think twice before making that gamble
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Dec 7, 09 10:52 AM
If the carriers wouldn't pay nuisance value for law suits, and would instead defend cases that could and should be defended, then it wouldn't matter.

Hold the line for a while and refuse to pay nuisance value and loser lawsuits would not get filed. Pay nuisance value and every lawsuit is a winner.
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 7, 09 11:03 AM
1 member liked this comment
Peoplefirst we are all familar with your ultra left views. Bishop is an ultra liberal Pelosi clone who votes party lines. Can you please provide me with one example where Bishop took a position against his party and voted for what was in the best interest of his constituents?
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Dec 7, 09 10:59 AM
Razza, Bishop is an elected official. He was elected by his constituents because he is a liberal, so why should he vote to please you neocons? You have a problem with Bishop, work for another candidate.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Dec 8, 09 10:41 AM
To Hambone:

FEMA Flood insurance IS capped at $250,000/residence, $100,000/contents.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Dec 7, 09 11:33 AM
Is Bishop looking for campaign funds from the wealthy supporters on the barrier island to help him keep his seat next election????
By kpjc (161), east quogue on Dec 7, 09 7:00 PM
IDA?? Was I out of town for that one?? I can't recall a really severe storm this year that could have done that much damage.....what's going to happen when we get a REAL Nor'Easter??
By MaryMac (43), Riverhead on Dec 8, 09 9:11 AM
The Congressman is appropriately requesting funding to clean up the disaster created by the government in constructing the jetties, knowing that they would cause severe erosion downdrift. It makes sense to build up the public beaches.
By Beachgoer (2), Bridgehampton on Dec 8, 09 10:48 AM
If that's true. Why not just remove the jetties? Why continually waste tax dollars fighting a losing battle? Where is the jettie that caused the beach to be swept away at main beach or mecox? There is no doubt they speed up the erosion. But they neither cause nor cure what Mother Nature brings our way from time to time. Glaciers melt. Beaches move. Deal with it.
By double-D (96), southampton on Dec 8, 09 6:08 PM
Glaciers melt. Beaches move. Deal with it?? Are you for real? Like I said earlier you need to get a grip on reality. I am surprised that you do not blame beach erosion and long shore drift on the illegals. Also, "just remove the jetties"? Have you seen them, they are large and in order to "just remove them" some level of the government would have to foot that bill. Then you would be criticizing them for "just moving the jetties".
Our beaches drive much of our economy out here...thanks to the ...more
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Dec 8, 09 8:48 PM
Please explain how.
By double-D (96), southampton on Dec 13, 09 10:16 AM

If there was nothing obscene or profane in your post, the reason for its removal may be that your link was to material that is under copyright. if you can show the editor that the material is in the public domain, he will put your post back.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Dec 9, 09 3:12 PM
Why do you keep building on the beaches? Don't these storms happen every year at this time? Why should the state taxpayers be responsible for local town officials poor decisions in letting the wealthy people build on the beaches. Pay for it yourselves, you are the cause of the destruction.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Dec 11, 09 7:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hey peoplefirst, cat got your tongue?
By double-D (96), southampton on Dec 13, 09 10:20 AM