Construction gets underway on Suffolk flood risk management project
A $1.7 billion federally funded initiative to protect Suffolk County's South Shore kicked off Friday.
The construction of a major flood risk management project is hoping to protect 83 miles of shoreline from Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point.
Fire Island Association president Suzy Foldhirsch has been fighting for the project for years.
"It wasn't until Sandy hit and there was so much devastation that the election officials went to Washington and said, 'We need to do something to protect the barrier islands that are the chain of barrier islands that protect the mainland of Long Island,'" Foldhirsch says.
The project is designed to reduce coastal flood risks from severe storms in the most vulnerable areas.
The Army Corps of Engineers say it is constructing dunes and dredging many of the inlets.
There is also a pump system that pulls sand from the bottom of the ocean and those pipes lead to the beach. The sand is pumped onto the beach in an appropriate profile, which protects from wave action or other incidents.
Officials say Gilgo Beach and Robert Moses State Park will be first to get the sand.
Another part of the project includes raising homes in flood-prone areas.
The Army Corps of Engineers is surveying which homes will be incorporated into the process.
It says it then will be approaching homeowners, but that will take time.