Long Beach boardwalk fully reopens after Superstorm Sandy

October 26, 2013 6:39:44 PM PDT
A Long Island community is marking a major milestone on the road to recovery from Superstorm Sandy Friday.

The people of Long Beach came together to celebrate their new boardwalk Friday afternoon.

But what they really celebrated was one another, their strength and their resilience, because the city, like its historic boardwalk, is back.

"They did a fantastic job, it came out great, Long Beach came back strong and it's really nice," said John Curcio, a Long Beach resident.

Last year, the Superstorm drove the Atlantic Ocean over the boardwalk and into the city. The devastation was, for many, unimaginable.

But city officials were determined to replace every plank, and rebuilt all 2.2 miles of it at a cost of roughly $40 million.

Although FEMA reimbursed 90% of it, Governor Cuomo said the State of New York would pay the rest.

"We told the people that Long Beach would be better than it was, Long Beach is better than it was, physically the boardwalk, the power stations, the homes, and as a community," Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The city manager says it's built to last, and new dunes will help protect it from future storms.

"The boardwalk's at a 17-foot elevation and we'll have dunes up to a 15 and a half foot elevation, and they'll butt right up against the boardwalk and marry nicely together," said Jack Schnirman, the Long Beach City Manager.

It's all reassuring to Chris Spinner who wants the boardwalk there for his daughter and her generation.

"Without it, it just left a big hole in the town, so it's back now, and everyone is really excited," Spinner said.