Work continues on Ocean Parkway at Gilgo Beach on Monday...

Work continues on Ocean Parkway at Gilgo Beach on Monday as crews worked round-the-clock to close a football field-sized hole in the newly rebuilt Ocean Parkway dune. (Oct. 14, 2013) Credit: Doug Kuntz

The photos were sobering, bird's-eye views that showed the sea lapping at Ocean Parkway. The pictures looked like they could have been taken in the days after Sandy, but they were snapped earlier this month after two days of heavy surf -- not even a decent storm -- pushed the Atlantic Ocean over newly reconstructed dunes and within 15 feet of the roadway. If we ever needed a reminder of the need to not just rebuild, but build back stronger, that was it.

After Sandy destroyed parts of Ocean Parkway along with its protective dunes, crews rebuilt them over the winter and early spring to meet a mandate to have the road ready for Memorial Day weekend. The urgency was understandable: Long Island's beaches are a magnet for residents and tourists and Ocean Parkway provides access.

Now there is a new urgency: Build the dunes back better.


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