State, local leaders look for potential fixes to LI South Shore after Tuesday’s storm
The work to rebuild the shoreline after Tuesday’s storm is just beginning. State and local leaders spent a second day assessing the damage across Long Island’s South Shore.
Drone teams were called in to survey areas that were still out of reach for crews. High tides flooded communities and eroded beaches - undoing many repairs that were made after the last storm.
Commissioner Basil Seggos, of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, spoke exclusively with News 12 after the storm about potential solutions for the shoreline. He said they have requested help from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin massive dredging operations near areas that suffered extensive damage.
“We see the impacts of severe weather. It’s happening more frequently with more intensity than ever before,” said Commissioner Seggos. “We have some asks already into the federal government from recent storms to rebuild some of those dunes and replenish those beaches. We’ll certainly be doing that again because this storm packed a real punch on our island’s beaches.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul has 30 days to request a Major Disaster Declaration from the White House. If approved, it would unlock federal funding and open reimbursement programs.
The process begins with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ (DHSES) Disaster Recovery Unit working directly with counterparts at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and impacted local governments to assess damages caused by, and costs related to, the disaster.
Commissioner Seggos said it is too soon to predict how much Tuesday’s storm will cost Long Islanders.
“It’s super hard to tell right now,” Commissioner Seggos said. “We are still in the middle of the response and we have a few days ahead of us, a few weeks ahead of us, before we are able to tally those damage assessments, then go to the federal government and ask them for help.”
If granted, the declaration will unlock access to one or both of FEMA’s reimbursement programs – Public Assistance and Individual Assistance.
• Public Assistance provides funding to local governments and eligible nonprofits for debris removal, protective measures, and repairs to buildings and infrastructure, including roads, bridges, water and wastewater treatment facilities, critical infrastructure sites, schools parks and other facilities.
• Individual Assistance provides financial and direct services to eligible individuals and households affected by a disaster, who have uninsured or under-insured necessary expenses and serious needs.