Snow not the only worry on Long Island

January 7, 2011 9:20:38 AM PST
Across Long Island, public works departments scrambled their sand and loaded their trucks Thursday.

They are bracing themselves for yet another blast of winter weather.

On the East End, the last thing they're worried about is how much snow they'll get.

"The last time we were ready for a snowstorm and we got a hurricane," Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said.

He is worried about the wind and with good reason. He's still tallying the damage from the blizzard 10 days ago after the Long Island Sound swallowed up giant chunks of coastline.

"We sincerely hope we don't get the winds we got, we're out of room here there's nowhere else to go," Russell said.

One important road is now just 12 feet from being washed away. Along Hashamomuck Cove, homes are inches from destruction.

"It's just devastating. It's hard to look at. It really is," Wendy Normoyle said.

Normoyle has lived in her house on and off for 30 years and spent the day trying to salvage what she can, amid fears wind from Friday's storm will kick up enough waves to finish the job.

Suffolk County leaders say the best way to prepare is beef up beaches with more sand, but the federal government won't allow it. Beach projects are banned from January through September to protect wildlife.

"They're doing a great job of protecting the piping plovers, but they're doing a terrible job of protecting our beaches for our 1.5 million residents," Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy said.

The county has petitioned FEMA for a waiver to protect places like Robert Moses State Park.

Back in Southold, Normoyle fears it may already be too late for a home that's been in her family for generations, a home that may slip right into the Sound.

"We get too many more storms like this and it's all gonna be gone," she said.

Meanwhile, Nassau County is activating its non-emergency hotline starting at 8 a.m. Friday. The number is 888-684-4274.

Residents can call for help with any snow-related problems that are not life-threatening or emergencies.

People with emergencies should call 911.

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