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Sandy did $30 million in damage to Westchester County parks

NEWS 12 WESTCHESTER: It may cost up to $30 million to fix Westchester's parks. (Nov. 13, 2012)

Hurricane Sandy caused as much as $30 million in damage to Westchester County parks, including $12 million in damage to Rye Playland.

County Parks Commissioner Kathleen O'Connor discussed the price tag from the storm with members of the Board of Legislators on Tuesday morning.

The most striking damage was the total loss of a big chunk of Playland's boardwalk, O'Connor said. "It's not just in disrepair," she said. "It's not there any longer."

The community is still reeling from the wooden boardwalk's absence, she added. Walkers, joggers and others frequently use it, she said. "For people who live in the area, the boardwalk is a mainstay," O'Connor said.

The parks estimate represents almost a third of the $100 million in damage that Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino has said Sandy caused when the superstorm struck the region two weeks ago.

Workers were still determining the damage to Playland's Ice Casino, which was flooded during the storm surge.

Many other county parks, including Glen Island Park in New Rochelle, sustained heavy damage, O'Connor said. About 800 trees have fallen in open areas of the parks and need to be removed.

Electricity likely won't be restored to many park facilities until the end of the week, too, she said.

Legislator Peter Harckham said the lack of power was another sign of Con Edison failing to fulfill its responsibility to its ratepayers.

"It's really distressing to hear that county facilities are still without power," he said.

It was unclear whether or how much insurance or the federal government would pay for repairs to park facilities, O'Connor said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has asked the White House and Congress to approve an extraordinary $30 billion appropriation for New York State to pay for the damage.

County legislators hoped the federal authorities would grant Cuomo's request.

"I know the governor is doing good advocacy on behalf of the state," Legis. Catherine Borgia said.

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