Many are cold and in the dark right now, and the recovery efforts are rightly focused on power and shelter for those without either. But the seasons will change, and that's when we'll realize another costly victim of Sandy, our beaches.

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So far the casualties noted on the state's Department of Environmental Conservation preliminary list are ruinous. There are the barrier island breaches: 50 yards at Smith Point County Park; three new cutaways in Center Moriches; Cupsogue County Park on Dune Road in Westhampton is almost completely washed away; and there are multiple cut-throughs at the Fire Island National Seashore. At Jones Beach, waves which went from the ocean to the bay have left much damage behind.

Much of our coast must be repaired and restored, but at what cost? That's the next challenge.