New York beaches reopen for the summer season

Here at Rockaway Beach one of the
unique things we’ve done, that don’t always happen in all
disasters is the sifting of the sand that you see on the beach. FEMA approved this as part of a
mission assignment underneath debris removal. We gathered the sand piles and
brought sand sifters down there instead of taking it off site, or
we brought it over to Riis Park and then we sand sifted it there and
brought right back to the beach and put it back on, instead of long
hauling it out of there. One of the big highlights of the
debris mission especially in New York City was re-use of materials. The boardwalk was a very time
consuming job, we took each plank out piece by piece, screw by screw
and was able to re-use the wood. It was a hard wood that’s very valuable
and we’d hate to see it just come out mechanically and destroyed. We are re-installing what we call a
baffle wall which is the same kind of wall, but instead of just putting
a regular wall footing we are driving piles 25 feet down into the sand,
so that if we do get a storm surge, if we do get those flood waters,
hopefully this wall will function a little bit as a barrier to keep
the water away from the residences. The Rockaway residents are working
so hard to get life back to normal. Rockaway was hit really hard. It suffered a lot of damage; those
houses had a lot of water, a lot of storm surge. So they’ve been working very hard
to bring things back to normal. And the mayor put the money forth
and we spent $140 million dollars out here to bring back and to start
bringing it back and we have a lot more work to do. (applause)

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