Pictured Above: County workers move sand on Dune Road late this week | photo courtesy Southampton Town

With two back-to-back major fall storms bearing down on the East End in the past week, the west end of Dune Road in Hampton Bays faced severe flooding and erosion, requiring a massive undertaking to shore up a dune and prevent the ocean from breaching the road.

For the second time in less than a week, Suffolk County Department of Public Works crews spent the morning of Oct. 17 restored a 750 foot stretch of dune along Dune Road across from the Shinnecock Commercial Fishing Dock in Hampton Bays damaged from the Wednesday, Oct. 16 storm, which caused high winds and flooding, downing trees and knocking out power throughout the East End.

PSEG Long Island suspended power to the area east of Ponquogue Beach to the inlet Thursday morning to allow the heavy equipment crews to begin work at 7 a.m. in preparation for the 10 a.m. high tide. In that three-hour period, they positioned 1,000 cubic yards of sand in the vulnerable areas of the dune, continuing to move more sand during the early afternoon.

Southampton Town Highway Department workers assisted the County DPW in this latest effort, and the New York State Department of Transportation assisted in the effort after the Oct. 10 storm.

The work was performed under two separate local statse of emergency declared by Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman this week.

An emergency Suffolk County beach replenishment project is currently being planned to start in two to four weeks, dredging 90 thousand cubic yards of sand to rebuild the beach and dune line.

Southampton Town said in a statement that “it is hoped that the Army Corps of Engineers will position a dredge already off the coast of Long Island into our area and perform an even more significant dredging operation.”

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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