Southampton Town had state Department of Transportation and Suffolk County crews working through the night and into the early morning hours to restore a 750-foot-long section of dune that washed away along the eastern portion of Dune Road in Hampton Bays thanks to subtropical storm Melissa. The nor’easter battered the barrier island and caused severe erosion during high tide Thursday in an area opposite the Shinnecock Commercial Fishing Dock.
Supervisor Jay Schneiderman issued a local state of emergency that day, September 10, in advance of the imminent breach in order to bring in the Suffolk County Department of Public Works heavy equipment to stand ready to shore up the dune.
Groups showed up in force and moved 120 truckloads of materials to create the 12-foot high-berm. It was a multi-agency effort. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office dispatched state DOT crews who were on site by 9 PM to assist. The Southampton Town Police Department sealed off the roads by late afternoon. As a precaution, PSEG Long Island turned off the electricity to that section of Dune Road that includes the commercial fishing dock and three restaurants. The town Trustees and bay constables also participated, as did the state Department of Environmental Conservation, county parks department, county Fire and Rescue Services, and the Office of Emergency Management.
“This would have been a major breach, significant damage, had it not been for the emergency efforts of all involved,” Schneiderman said. “The crews worked all night literally holding back the tide.”
The work by all parties is ongoing in preparation for this evening’s high tide.
This version corrects that Southampton did not have town crew working on Dune Road.