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Floodgates could reduce South Shore flooding

A storm surge pushes waves over rocks on

A storm surge pushes waves over rocks on the Long Island Sound at Belle Terre beach in Port Jefferson during hurricane Sandy. (Oct. 29, 2012) Credit: Heather Walsh

After superstorm Sandy, New York Rising allocated federal money for projects and programs to mitigate damage from future storms. However, I think a big opportunity is being missed by not seriously studying a solution that has the potential to protect a large number homes.

The City of Long Beach has built a sea wall under its boardwalk, an excellent and unobtrusive project, to keep the next storm surge out of neighborhoods. But what about all the communities farther north?

On Jan. 10, a relatively minor storm caused coastal flooding that allowed water to back up through sewers and to flood low-lying streets at high tide. This happened in several South Shore communities, including my neighborhood in Oceanside.

Why don’t we think big and consider building retractable floodgates across the access points on the South Shore that allow surges to penetrate local bays farther north? In Nassau County, only two inlets, East Rockaway Inlet and Jones Inlet, feed into Reynolds Channel and the back bays. Farther east, how about a retractable flood gate along the Fire Island Inlet under the Robert Moses Causeway?

If New Orleans can protect itself, can’t we?

Ray Xerri



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