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Robert Moses Park has worst of storm damage

Robert Moses State Park was hit by the

Robert Moses State Park was hit by the worst of last weekend's storm, causing widespread erosion. (March 15, 2010) Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

As flooded streets along the South Shore began to drain and residents near the bays continued to pump out their basements Monday, Huntington Town trucks dumped 1,000 tons of crushed stone to bolster a compromised sea wall along the only access road into Asharoken.

Meanwhile, state park officials said that the weekend storm washed away more than 100 feet of beach depth at Robert Moses State Park Fields 4 and 5, damaged 60 trees at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum and so eroded Gilgo Beach that the April 1 opening for fishing there will be delayed several weeks.

A six-member Army Corps of Engineers team visited Asharoken Monday to assess the breached sea wall along Asharoken Avenue. On Saturday as much as a foot of water stood on the road after 40 percent of the 500-foot-long sea wall was submerged by breaking waves on Long Island Sound. Traffic is still confined to a single lane and could remain that way until Wednesday. Thomas Creamer, the Corps' New York chief of operations, said the agency will prepare a report in several weeks on how to repair the wall.

Ronald Foley, regional director for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said Robert Moses beaches saw the worst erosion of all the state beaches "because it was so bad to begin with" after several previous nor'easters.

At Fields 4 and 5, Foley said, about 40 yards of beach depth were lost "so at high tide, there is no beach," he said. And at the eastern end of Field 5, the water comes up to the boardwalk now. Foley said the state will hire a contractor to deposit 200,000 cubic feet of stockpiled sand along the beach at Field 5 by the middle of April.

Wildwood's beach bathhouse was damaged and some bluffs eroded. There was also some erosion at Orient Beach, Hither Hills and Caumsett. At Bethpage, the roof on the clubhouse atrium was partially ripped off. At the Cutting Arboretum, 20 of the 60 trees knocked down were rare specimens.

At the Home Depot in East Farmingdale, a plumbing sales representative said the store had sold about 50 sump pumps since Saturday to people with flooded basements, leaving the shelves half empty.

Carol Schnorr, who lives on South Penataquit Avenue in Bay Shore, and her husband have been using a sump pump to drain about an inch of water from their 400-square-foot basement since Saturday. "It's a hazard of living on the Island, unfortunately," she said.

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