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Superstorm Sandy beach restoration contracts awarded

The Long Beach boardwalk remained heavily damaged 2

The Long Beach boardwalk remained heavily damaged 2 1/2 months after superstorm Sandy hit the Long Island area. (Jan. 15, 2013) (Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa)

Contracts will be awarded this month for work in April on restoring New York’s beaches damaged by superstorm Sandy, including Long Island’s South Shore, the Cuomo administration said Monday.

An expedited effort to restore beaches and protect properties from future storms begins with work on Staten Island, and later on New York City-area beaches and Long Island, Cuomo said in a statement.

Cuomo said he has directed the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Service and the Department of Environmental Conservation to work with federal and local counterparts on a priority so that “vulnerable coastline and nearby residential neighborhoods” are protected.

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The work needs to be done “as quickly as possible, ensuring that we rebuild smarter and strong,” Cuomo said.

State officials have been meeting weekly with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and representatives from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office.

At least 75 percent of the funding for the Staten Island restoration work will come from FEMA’s public assistance program.

In Long Beach, damage estimates from Sandy topped $250 million. Long Beach lost 3 million cubic feet of sand during the storm. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is crafting a plan for beach restoration in Long Beach.

From Gilgo Beach to Southampton along the South Shore of Long Island, Sandy’s storm surge pushed back or flattened protective dunes.

As much as 75 percent of beach restoration funding can come from FEMA’s public assistance program.

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