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Long Island

Officials: Jones, Robert Moses beaches hit hard by storm

Jones Beach and Robert Moses State Park beaches suffered major flooding and erosion from Saturday's nor'easter, state parks officials said Sunday.

The devastating storm, which took down trees across the region, also felled more than 30 in the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River, one of the region's most extensive collections of conifers, said George Gorman, deputy regional director for the state parks system.

"This is one of the worst [storms] that we have seen, though not the worst," Gorman said. "We normally see this as the effect of a hurricane."

Jones Beach was completely inundated Sunday morning and much of it - including the pitch-and-putt golf course, the games area and the bandshell - remained under water during the day, Gorman said.

At Robert Moses State Park, the storm left only 10 feet separating the oceanfront from the east end of the boardwalk, Gorman said. Beach dunes also lost a few feet to the sea, he said.

About 200,000 cubic feet of sand will be placed on the east end of the beach in April, a $1-million, federally financed project meant to help the beach overcome past erosion, Gorman said. Now, the project is more urgent, he said.

"That's the only thing we can do to get sand on the beaches so we can have them for the summer," Gorman said.

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