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Oct 29, 2019 3:47 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays Dune Washes Away Again; Town Supervisor Says Relief Is On The Way

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman  hosted an appreciation ceremony on Wednesday, October 23 at Oakland's Restaurant to recognize the  work by Suffolk County, New York State, and Southampton Town employees who restored the dunes along Dune Road in Southampton during the October 10, Nor’easter.   DANA SHAW
Oct 30, 2019 10:53 AM

A recently reconstructed berm along Dune Road near the Shinnecock Commercial Fishing Docks was once again taken out during a coastal storm on Sunday night — and Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said relief is on the way to prevent the dune from being swept away so quickly in future storms.

As a result of the berm being diminished, Mr. Schneiderman issued a state of emergency targeting that portion of Dune Road — the third emergency order in the past three weeks. Dredged sand is part of the solution going forward.

Mr. Schneiderman said a 100-foot section of the berm was destroyed. “That berm washed out,” he said on Monday. “There were waves crashing across the road.”

After getting word of the situation, Mr. Schneiderman said he contacted Suffolk County Chief Engineer Bill Hillman to see if he and his crews could help bolster the dune before the morning high tide.

Mr. Hillman drove in from Islip and mobilized county payloaders and trucks to start pushing sand back into a dune formation. Crews were able to move about 1,500 square feet of sand to the spot of the former 3,000-square-foot dune that was built 18 days prior.

The dune was rebuilt after a slow moving nor’easter churned off the coast — the storm brought heavy surf and strong winds that resulted in water flowing across Dune Road.

Mr. Schneiderman said immediate, short-term and long-term plans are underway to prevent the ocean from completely separating the eastern end of Dune Road from the rest of it.

As town officials continue to keep tabs on another approaching nor’easter that is expected to hit the area on Friday, Mr. Schneiderman said crews will continue to mobilize the sand as it gets washed out of the dune system near the commercial fishing docks.

By Friday, Suffolk County should have a dredge on the inside of Shinnecock Inlet, he said, and once set up, crews will pump sand onto the beaches and create additional stockpiles for future instances.

“It could be a few weeks until we have a decent amount of sand on the beach,” Mr. Schneiderman said, adding that crews are expected to pump 90,000 cubic yards of sand from the inlet to the beach. “Ninety thousand, hopefully, will get us through the winter.”

In addition to the 90,000 cubic yards of sand, he said, state, federal and local officials are trying to convince the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to mobilize the federal dredge to the area where the dune was washed out.

The dredge is expected to pump 800,000 cubic yards of sand from off shore, onto the beach.

Unfortunately for the town, the dredge is currently working on a project off Fire Island as part of the Fire Island to Montauk Point project to replenish the beaches.

Suffolk County has requested that the Fire Island to Moriches Inlet phase of the project include the beach west of Shinnecock Inlet.

While the Army Corps recognizes the beach in Hampton Bays as an area of concern, Mr. Schneiderman said, he is “cautiously optimistic” that the dredge will arrive anytime soon. He has reached out to U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin to see if the dredge could be moved sooner rather than later.

State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. also reached out to the Army Corps to try and move things along as well.

“We echo the concerns identified by the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, particularly regarding the unsustainability of these reconstructive activities and the significant risk posed to Dune Road businesses and the Southampton Commercial Fishing Dock,” Mr. Thiele said in a letter to the leaders of the Army Corps. “This proposed modification would provide increased protection to this vulnerable area, which has become dangerously eroded, and where the threat of a potential breach of the protective dunes is ever-present.”

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Thank you Mr Supervisor. West of the inlet needs much attention. Any news from Town Trustees?
By ZGerry (50), Hamptons on Oct 30, 19 8:31 AM
By Local247 (39), Southampton on Oct 30, 19 8:46 AM
Is Alex Gregor still refusing to send” his” trucks to the emergency because there are rich people in the vicinity who may be inadvertently helped?
By CPalmer (122), Southampton on Oct 30, 19 9:18 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By themarlinspike (542), Northern Hemisphere on Oct 30, 19 10:03 AM
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Nov 2, 19 6:04 PM
How many times can we repair this in the future? The beaches are moving all of the time due to erosion and wave action from the ocean. I think we ought to buy all of the properties on this section of Dune Road including the inlet and return it to a park. We should not be paying for repetitive damage.

I guess the town doesn't care about using Federal money but they have programs to buy repetitive flood damaged properties. Regularly losing the road to a property should qualify it to ...more
By Baymen87 (135), Lugoff, SC on Oct 30, 19 9:29 AM
Couldn't agree more. The time for a planned coastal retreat is now. It makes no sense to keep dredging thousands of cubic yards of sand out of the inlet only to have it wash right back in during the next storm. Meanwhile, we are wasting millions of dollars moving sand from one place to another.

It will be much cheaper to turn these threatened areas into parks, vegetate them heavily with native plants and let nature run its course. When storms inevitably damage these coastal parks, re-vegetate ...more
By Enviro Guy (55), Southampton on Oct 30, 19 3:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
There are a lot of jobs that rely on the Inlet and the restaurants, marinas and commercial fishing fleet being intact.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Oct 30, 19 4:04 PM
I completely understand that, but it will make more sense financially to relocate those enterprises to somewhere that is not under constant threat of washout. Instead of spending tens of millions on moving sand around over the years, why don't we use that money to relocate those businesses somewhere less threatened within Shinnecock Bay?
By Enviro Guy (55), Southampton on Nov 4, 19 8:59 AM
1 member liked this comment
Why dont those businesses who chose to build there pay to relocate their premises? Grants for this would save money on repairs and save jobs at the same time and we all win.

Doing the same thing over and over is a fools errand. If the community paid for these repairs people would be outraged and see common sense. Free Federal money makes people selfish and stupid.
By Baymen87 (135), Lugoff, SC on Nov 7, 19 9:30 AM
Stop trying to fight mother nature! And wasting money!
By Rich Morey (378), East Hampton on Oct 30, 19 10:02 AM
The town bought the commercial dock that is directly behind the washover. There are 10 to 15 commercial fishing boats there, earning whatever they make. Two mat Nas, and 2 1/2 restaurants, one of which has a "for sale" sign up.

Shinecock Inlet was human created after a washover in the hurricane of 1938 and human maintained just like the canal directly to the North.

If you don't maintain man made structures, they fall apart, especially as sea levels rise 1/2 inch to 1 inch/year.

Just ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Oct 30, 19 10:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
What if humans burning massive amounts of fossil fuels is causing climate change? What if this climate change is causing ice to melt and sea levels are rising? Perhaps science is correct and anthropogenic climate change isn't a hoax perpetrated by deep-state, witch-hunt-loving illuminati who run child prostitution rings out of the basement of pizzerias.
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Oct 30, 19 12:33 PM
2 members liked this comment
What if this has been happening for centuries? Of right, it has been.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Nov 2, 19 6:06 PM
The climate change argument is a bunch of BS. The road has been washing out for decades and actually years ago it would wash out more frequently. By the way where is the millions of dollars the trustees got for saving Sand and selling it? If I was the federal government I wouldn't give a penny until the trustees pay back that money they took for sand
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 30, 19 3:23 PM
Why not ask Fred Thiele where the inlet sand bypass system is that he was getting us twenty years ago?
By VOS (1241), WHB on Oct 30, 19 3:26 PM
This area started to erode shortly after the inlet jetties were re built. Instead of extending the west jetty and dog legging it to the south west, they shortened it in relation to the east one. Due to littoral drift and the fact that shore hardening structures cause erosion down drift , the area in front of the commercial dock is subject to focused erosion. The Halloween storm of 1991 caused the first breach taking out the telephone poles on the ocean side of Dune Road and washing through to the ...more
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Oct 30, 19 4:02 PM
Corp of engineers? Guess we'll try this and find out what happens???
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Oct 30, 19 4:09 PM
No one needs to buy anything. Most of the area is all ready a “park” with natural vegetation. Hope we can help those who earn a living from the docks and restaurants.
By jams (129), hampton bays on Oct 31, 19 7:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
It's a town road? The dunes and beach are the County's? Except for the Town piece at the inlet on the right and the 'park' on the left or straight ahead and next to Oaklands, which is County? Is that correct?

By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Nov 3, 19 1:59 PM
the dredge has arrived , pipes are being set up and it looks like when they start dredging the east cut the spoils will go on the beach in front of the breech, couldn't hurt.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Nov 3, 19 2:19 PM
thanks for the info. great news!
By Summer Resident (251), Southampton Town, NY on Nov 5, 19 3:09 AM
It also washed through from.Hurricane Gloria in '85. I had 2 feet of sand in my fish market where the Commercial pack out is. There is a strip of land between the commercial dock and the commercial pack out that belongs to the county. BTW also, the Commercial boats employ about 100 people most times, and we at the pack out employ anywhere from 5-10 depending on the season. Oaklands as well who employ more. I dont even think most people know anything of our maritime heritage in Hampton Bays anymore ...more
By clamdigger (85), Quogue on Nov 4, 19 6:49 AM
To make this hack's political ad more accurate...as he and his family stand with their backs to the camera staring at the beautiful L.I. beach, it should disappear because of the jetties.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Nov 4, 19 7:13 AM