Schumer: Treating back-to-back storms as one will help unlock federal funds for LI beaches

Schumer says recent storms have caused “major dune and berm erosion on the Eastern side of Fire Island, west of Shinnecock Inlet, west of Fire Island Inlet on Jones Beach Island, and Montauk.”

Bob Doda

Jan 14, 2024, 6:41 PM

Updated 191 days ago

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Sen. Charles Schumer has unveiled a plan that he believes will unlock emergency federal aid for Long Island beaches that have been battered by back-to-back storms – treat them as one.
Schumer in a news release explained that a threshold of damage needs to be met before emergency funds become available.
According to his plan, “While recent storms do not independently hit the threshold mark, an aggregation or a cumulative measurement of the storms would achieve the threshold reach required to access the federal help.”
The senator says he spoke with the Army Corps general who agreed with the aggregating storms plan.
“The Army Corps has done important and critical work across Long Island. I made sure of that and I applaud it, but these back-to-back battering of storms have created an urgent and emergency level situation across Suffolk that demands more imminent actions to both contain and counter the threats to people, businesses and the local environment,” said Schumer in prepared remarks. “I just got off the phone with Army Corps top brass to lay out a plan to unlock emergency funds for shoreline and beach rehab by aggregating back-to-back storms as one single event. I told the Corps my plan and they agreed with it, and they’ll tell New York Corps officials the same.”
Schumer says recent storms have caused “major dune and berm erosion on the Eastern side of Fire Island, west of Shinnecock Inlet, west of Fire Island Inlet on Jones Beach Island, and Montauk.”
“It’s a mess,” Schumer added. “But even more succinct: this is an emergency."
The Army Corps released the following statement:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New York District, announces receipt of a letter from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), urging an expedited review of ⎼ and emergency repairs to ⎼ four Army Corps projects damaged from a series of recent storms on Long Island’s south shore in Suffolk County.
The requested review will cover recent storms from December 2023 and January 2024. Four Army Corps projects were identified as severely damaged: Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet; West of Shinnecock Inlet; Fire Island Inlet and Shores Westerly; and Downtown Montauk. USACE New York District will partner with NYSDEC to perform an expedited review of all data from multiple storm events to determine the best path forward.
 “We’re in the process of examining all of the data from these storms in accordance with federal guidelines,” said Col. Alex Young, commander, USACE, New York District. “We’re committed to working with our partners at the federal, state, and local levels to determine the best path forward for helping to mitigate coastal storm damage for the residents of these communities and throughout the tri-state area.”
East Hampton Town Supervisor Kathee Burke-Gonzalez also issued a statement:
"The Town of East Hampton is committed to working with our government partners — Senator Schumer, Governor Hochul, the New York State DEC, and the Army Corps of Engineers — and is committed to providing any information and documentation necessary to support initiatives that will protect and secure downtown Montauk’s storm-ravaged beaches. The Town and our residents are grateful for their leadership on this issue."


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