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Storm eroded Orient Beach, flooded Wildwood state parks

State parks officials said there was erosion along

State parks officials said there was erosion along 1 1/2 miles of Orient Beach State Park shoreline on Gardiners Bay from the nor'easter of Tuesday, March 14, 2017. This image was taken on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Credit: Randee Daddona

Tuesday’s storm eroded a portion of Orient Beach State Park’s shoreline and flooded the area under a raised bathhouse at Wildwood State Park in Wading River, as well as having minor effects in the towns of Southold, Huntington, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay, officials said Wednesday.

State parks officials planned to inspect the park areas affected by the storm, which had threatened to be a blizzard but did not pack as much of a punch as predicted.

“We really were very concerned about a major erosion event . . . but we did not see any significant damage throughout Long Island’s state parks,” said George Gorman, New York State Parks deputy regional director for Long Island.

At Orient Beach State Park, about 1 1/2 miles of shoreline along the main entrance road fronting Gardiners Bay eroded during the storm. The roadway was not damaged.

Floodwaters also flowed under a bathhouse at Wildwood State Park, taking away some of the sand beneath the building, but Gorman said officials did not believe there was any structural damage. A damaged staircase will be repaired.

“It’s nothing that would impact the summer season,” Gorman said.

Many towns had reported impassable roads and minor flooding Tuesday, though the waters receded overnight. Erosion cases were mild, local officials said.

Southold Supervisor Scott Russell said sand put down at Town Beach before the storm did its job protecting a parking lot there. Other parts of town still were being surveyed.

“It was a miserable storm,” Russell said of the nor’easter, which brought snow of 3 to 5 inches plus rain and pounding surf. “Obviously, erosion is going to take place but [it was] nothing too severe.”

In Huntington Town, Crab Meadow and Geissler’s beaches had some erosion, as did the private houses on Makamah Beach Road between the two beach areas, town spokesman A.J. Carter said.

“This is the area that experienced the greatest erosion damage during superstorm Sandy and the area that traditionally sees the most damage from nor’easters,” he said.

In Asharoken, Police Chief Ray Mahdesian said some sand and debris washed over the sea wall along Asharoken Avenue during the storm and there was some minor beach erosion. The roadway was closed for a few hours during the height of the storm.

In the Town of North Hempstead, minor flooding was reported in the Village of Baxter Estates along Baxter Beach and Shore Road, village clerk-treasurer Chrissy Kiernan said.

Brian Devine, a spokesman for the Town of Oyster Bay, said in an email that the town experienced “the typical erosion during any winter storm of this kind,” but nothing serious.

With Valerie Bauman, Christine Chung, Deborah S. Morris, David Olson and Nicholas Spangler


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