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Western Waterfront Survives Hurricane Sandy Winds

The best news after Hurricane Sandy is that the Oyster Festival location in Theodore Roosevelt is still pristine. The Town of Oyster Bay recently over-hauled the drainage system in the park as part of the Phase I renovation and it worked amazingly well. While the park was inundated with water during the storm, by Wednesday, Oct. 31 the water had drained off the streets and was flooding the recharge basin, which then looked like a lake, and the swales were all filled to the brim, but draining. It should be mentioned that Sandy was a lot of wind but not water. The turf field did not do as well because the rubber particles floated out and were scattered around the park.
The Bay Looked Like An Ocean

Stacy Hammond Evers [Oyster Bay Public Library head of reference] reported that Hamilton Avenue was fine. She said, “During the storm I could look out at the bay and it looked like Jones Beach the waves were so big and rough. It looked like ocean water: it was bizarre. The water almost came up to the train tracks. The park looked like a lake.

“The water didn’t make it beyond the train tracks (it has a raised track) so Hamilton Avenue was safe. We didn’t get as much rain as originally predicted. It was to be an 8 to 10 foot storm surge. That put Hamilton Avenue and probably Audrey Avenue in jeopardy. But Monday evening, they changed the estimates to 5 to 8 feet. We really lucked out in the village.

“The most damage was a few shingles that came off the house across the street.”

Trees caused the most damage as the storm knocked them down. In East Norwich a tree crashed down on a garage that had been occupied by a father and two sons about a half an hour earlier. Shingles blew off roofs and a large cedar tree rested against a house on Allan Drive until the homeowner took it safely down. Cedar trees toppled all over the area.

A large tree came down along Route 106 and blocked the road. Cars drove north in the small area open and cars going south went up on the curb and left muddy tracks on the park-like area along the road.

Oyster Sloop Christeen

The oyster bay sloop Christeen rode the storm out on her mooring in the bay. On Monday, Nov. 5, WaterFront Center staffer Christina Perez said, “She’s fine. She’s still in the bay. Captain Pete Macandrews was going out to check on her to see if everything was tied up for the nor’easter expected on Wednesday, Nov. 7.

“We did very well. We were very lucky because we didn’t get more of the rain. It was wind that we got.”

The Western Waterfront tided over the storm very well. The new recharge basin next to the Atlantic Steamer Marine Facility was filled to the brim and actually broke through to create a drain into the harbor. Salt hay rode over the wall of the 9/11 Memorial Garden and littered the ground. By noon on Wednesday, Oct. 31.  The Theodore Roosevelt multisport field looked ready for a game. You would only have to shoo the seagulls away. They had bedded down in the endzone.

A tree blocked the Larrabe Avenue entrance road to TR park so people used the exit lane instead. Beekman Beach was roped off and the beach was just a sliver of sand.

Patricia Aitken, Friends of the Bay executive director, was there taking photographs and said there were downed trees in the park. Several large ones from the original allee from the Maxwell Avenue entrance to the flagpole were tossed down. At Beekman Beach, the tide eroded a section near the bridge over the Mill Creek. Boats were smashed by the tides.

The beach itself at Beekman was just a small crescent on Wednesday. The buildings on West Shore Avenue appeared unhurt.