Long Island beaches reopen after Hurricane Sandy

May 24, 2013 2:17:21 PM PDT
It's like coming home again. Even though it wasn't the best weather out, it didn't stop people from coming to check on their beloved beaches.

"The beach here has always been a part of our lives, even from growing up. You come here in good times and in bad times, and it's just great to be able to be back and walk on the sand again," Mary Oehrlein of West Islip said.

"We're starting over just like people who have tragedy anywhere we're starting over. This is a new season and we're ready to go," Richard Oehrlein said.

Just seven months ago the beach at Robert Moses State Park and the boardwalk at Jones Beach was devastated by Superstorm Sandy, but on Thursday the Robert Moses Parkway reopened allowing traffic through so people could go to the beaches.

The boardwalk at Jones Beach is mostly repaired.

"It's against all odds that we are here today, opening all our Long Island parks for the future and for Memorial Day," Rose Harvey of New York State Office of Parks said.

There are still some things that need to get done. Believe it or not, there's still some storm debris lingering around, but there's help.

"We saw rugs down by the bay, even stairs. There were a lot of bottles and a lot of just stray pieces of wood we've been picking up and hauling over to the dumpster," student Josh Pollock said.

Seniors from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore are spending their last three weeks of school cleaning the beaches.

"After the hurricane, a lot of our homes were destroyed and I think it's so important to get back to how it was last summer," Pollock said.