Charles Barrett, director of Parks, Buildings and Grounds for the Town of Smithtown, said although the town's parks emerged from Hurricane Sandy with significantly less damage than other parts of Long Island, the town is still working to replenish some area beaches.
"As far as weathering the storm, we were pretty lucky certainly luckier than the south shore and other areas. Our location helped a great deal," Barrett said.
Hurricane Sandy's brought the average high tide nearly 4 feet above average on the North Shore, flooding many beaches and washing docked boats onto roadways near Short and Long Beach.
The high tides flooded the town's electrical systems at Short Beach and the Long Beach marina, forcing the town to replace the electrical wiring, refrigerators and freezers, according to Barrett.
Repairs were completed by the time the town's beaches opened for the season on Memorial Day, according to Barrett, but there's still more work to be done.
"The only thing that is outstanding yet is some of the sand replacement at Callahan’s Beach and Kings Park Bluff," he said. "We had significant erosion due to the storm, rather than purchase the sand we will be using the spoilers from the dredge."
Suffolk County Department of Public Works hired Port Jefferson-based Gibson & Cushman to being dredging of the Nissequogue River from Old Dock Bluff boat ramp north to Smithtown Bay. It estimates that roughly 93,000 cubic yards of silt and debris will be removed from the river's bed. It will cost approximately $2.09 million.
Barrett says the town will use in-house staff to transport roughly 10,000-cubic-yards of sand from the dredging to Callahan's Beach to repair an area near the staircase.
The Kings Park Bluff area will not be so fortunate, as the town has not decided how to fix storm damage to the cliffs.
"At this point we are not ready to put sand at the bluff, it just goes right back where it's being dredged," Barrett said. "It’s shoveling against the tide. We throw it over the hill and it washes into the channel."
The parks director said he expects Smithtown town officials and New York Department of Environmental Conservation to work together to come up with a plans to shore up the bluffs and replace what was lost.
"We had some erosion there, but there was no structure damage," Barrett said.In addition to the beaches, the town has spent roughly $25,000 replacing a baseball backstop at Valmont Park in Commack and perimeter fencing at several town-owned parks.
Overall, Barrett said he does not feel Superstorm Sandy will have any long-lasting impact on the area's beaches and parks.
"I think we weathered the storm pretty well and we recovered from the storm really well," he said.
Have you noticed any differences at Smithtown's parks and beaches? Tell us in the comments below.