Experts suggest storm surge gate as solution to securing LI shorelines against Sandy-like devastation
Village of Freeport officials met Wednesday to discuss ways to secure the shoreline to protect the area in case of another superstorm like Sandy.
The Bayview catering hall is one building that was completely destroyed by stormwaters and fire. It took 10 years and millions of dollars to rebuild.
"The place was completely devastated and burned down to the ground," says Michael Danon, of Bayview Restaurant & Catering. "It was horrible. We borrowed money from family and friends. Just went ahead and got back open."
Danon says he spent millions of dollars to rebuild the catering hall to what it looks like today. He says he gets scared every time there is a mention of a storm on the way.
Pam Boening, of Freeport, knows the feeling. Her Fairview Avenue home had 4 feet of water in it when Sandy hit.
"We had waves in our den," says Boening. "It was a mess."
Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy put together a panel of storm surge and climate change experts who say that another big storm will happen, and the South Shore is vulnerable to a storm surge and rising sea levels.
One of the solutions offered was to invest in a $180 million storm surge gate that officials say has been successful in places such as Amsterdam. It would be placed along the 45-mile stretch from Atlantic Beach to Mastic Beach to control flooding.
It's something that Kennedy has been pushing for since 2016.
"I think they really need to do a deeper analysis and study as to the specific location here that could result in prevention of flooding in the future," says Kennedy.
Boening says she believes it is a worthy investment for the South Shore of Long Island.