Tuesday's storm caused more damage than any weather event since Hurricane Sandy, Fire...

Tuesday's storm caused more damage than any weather event since Hurricane Sandy, Fire Island officials and residents said. Erosion on Fire Island Pines from the December rainstorm is seen here. Credit: Town of Brookhaven

Suffolk County and the Town of Brookhaven are working to finalize funding and a temporary solution to address severe storm erosion in the town's eastern stretch of Fire Island, officials said.

The municipalities hope to hire a dredging company already working in the area through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is currently overseeing sand placement for the Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet shoreline protection project, known as FIMI. 

Brookhaven Councilman Neil Foley said officials have been "in constant communication" with the company to find a window "for them to help us out." 

The county is finalizing plans to fund the project, which will be bonded in correlation with the erosion control districts of each community to help alleviate some of the cost, Foley said. Erosion control districts are used as a means of providing funding to address coastal erosion and storm damage.

The project is estimated to cost $10 million, Foley said. "We need to fix this because Fire Island protects the mainland.

"Right now ... there is no protection in certain parts of Fire Island at all," he added.

Fire Island, which falls in the towns of Brookhaven and Islip, has suffered severe erosion following a spate of storms in recent months, causing what first responders on the island have called a “ticking time bomb,” with fire departments blocked from traveling along the sand to provide mutual aid.

A storm that buffeted Long Island Tuesday into Wednesday caused more damage than any weather event since Superstorm Sandy, officials and Fire Island residents said, making concerns about the barrier island’s resiliency even more urgent. 

The Army Corps has said it would honor work permits already granted for the Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point Project, known as FIMP, Foley said.

Both Fire Island erosion projects were funded by Congress after Superstorm Sandy to improve coastal resiliency along Long Island shorelines.

A construction team is currently overseeing sand placement in the communities of Saltaire, Fair Harbor, Ocean Beach and Seaview on the western stretch for the Fire Island to Moriches Inlet project, said James D’Ambrosio, public affairs specialist for the Army Corps. 

Sand will be placed at downtown Montauk under the FIMP project later this winter, he said.

An analysis of coastal storms in September that determined the island wasn’t eligible for emergency assistance is being evaluated by other Army Corps districts, with a finding expected later this month. Another analysis of a December storm that will include site inspections is underway, D’Ambrosio said. 

The law “governing emergency responses to disasters has very strict guidelines," he said via email. "There must be substantial damage to structures and roads and prolonged disruption to utilities from" a hurricane with winds 110 mph or higher to be considered.

He added that, while the Army Corps' New York District is working with partners at the state and federal levels to address concerns on Fire Island, they still lack authority and funding for emergency repairs.

Other entities, including the state, Suffolk County and the Town of Southampton, are considering sand placement for sections of Fire Island, including Fire Island Pines and Cherry Grove, he said.

“They’re working on a plan to contract with a dredging company that may bring sand to these communities. These areas are also potential Army Corps renourishment sites and will be considered in the future under an agreement between the Army Corps and New York State,” D’Ambrosio said.

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Carcinogens found in West Islip … LI jobless rate on the rise … LIRR IOU invoices Credit: Newsday

Updated 55 minutes ago Urologist sexual abuse case ... Carcinogens found in West Islip ... Lab results for Bethpage park drums ... Rangers win game 2

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