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  • Approved for CNN

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    Posted November 18, 2012 by
    rpollner
    Location
    Fire Island, New York
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    'Superstorm' Sandy: Your stories

    rpollner and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Sandy's damage across the East Coast
    More from rpollner

    Fire Island finally accessible to home owners

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Ocean Beach homeowner rpollner captured these photos of the aftermath of Sandy on Fire Island, which is located off the shore of Long Island in New York. The photos were taken on Saturday, November 17. "The township would not allow us back on the island until this weekend. Many of the people we met on the ferry on the way out to the Island were very stressed and concerned about the amount of damage to their homes and businesses. This was the first time they got to see their homes," he says. "There were a number of contractors on the island meeting with homeowners to try to figure out what to do next. We met with several ourselves. The mood on the way off of the island was much more of a sense of relief and exhaustion as people had a better sense of what happened to their homes. There was a real sense of community." See more stories from Sandy in our interactive map.
    - Anika3, CNN iReport producer

    Saturday 11/17, we were finally allowed to see what happened to our home in Ocean Beach, Fire Island (FI was one of the last areas to allow residents back). From everything we heard about the Jersey Shore & Staten Island and given how low lying and narrow Fire Island is - we feared the worst.

    We were allowed on the island for only 3 hours. The goal was to assess damage and take back with us anything important that we could carry on the ferry (no cars are allowed on the island).

    In terms of damage - there is still no power. The hardest hit areas appear to be the communities of Atlantique and portions of Ocean Bay Park. I did not make it to Atlantique, but several people I spoke with said it looked like a war zone. A breach between the Atlantic Ocean & the Great South Bay occurred in several spots on the eastern end of the Island. Some appear to be quite large. We will need to see if they become permanent.

    But Ocean Beach appears to have fared much better. I even saw several Deer wandering around. There were a number of downed trees and quite a bit of damage from the flooding - the flood waters in Ocean Beach were about 3 feet deep and stretched from the ocean to the bay. The ocean water pushed large amounts of sand from the beach and dunes far down many of the walk ways. The most obvious structural damage to homes were to those that were right on the beach.

    For a short while, these beautiful sandy beaches that so many people truly love were Sandys beaches. Now the message and talk is more about hope, renewal and rebuilding. In time, we will make these our beaches again.

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