New York Congressman Lee Zeldin and Chief Engineer of the Suffolk County Department of Public Works William Hillman carried out a site visit of Hamptons Bays’ Dune Road on Tuesday, November 26.
The visit took place after multiple recent storms caused severe damage to the dunes along the ocean side and led to severe flooding and a near breach of the barrier island just west of Shinnecock Inlet where many small businesses and jobs are located, including the second largest commercial dock in New York State.
Local and state officials are now seeking federal assistance with the ongoing dredging.
During the site visit, federal and county officials discussed available options regarding appropriate operation authority, funding and the availability of dredges and equipment.
“Congressman Zeldin and his office have been in frequent contact with the Army Corps regarding the county’s reimbursement request for prior and ongoing work on Dune Road and has also been in touch with Weeks Marine, which has two dredges currently at Fire Island Pines, regarding the possibility of moving at least one of its vessels east to assist with this emergency project,” according to an official release from the congressman’s office.
Last year, the Army Corps, operating under an emergency declaration and utilizing $12 million in federal funding, under took an emergency dredge of Moriches Inlet following a series of unprecedented nor’easters which caused severe shoaling and left the inlet unnavigable.
The sand dredged from the inlet was placed at Smith Point County Park to strengthen the dunes and prevent erosion.
On the heels of the completion of the dredge of Moriches Inlet, the Army Corps completed a 3-mile dredge of the Long Island Intracoastal Waterway, placing additional sand at Smith Point County Park as well as Webby Beach and Great Gun Beach.