The East End of Long Island took its share of the beating when Hurricane Sandy blew through town earlier this week, with reports from the rural region indicating the twin forks are reeling from much of the same damage as up-island.
The famed Dune Road in Southampton township saw similar devastating blows to its beach as the three LI barrier islands to the west when Cupsogue County Park in Westhampton Beach was breached. Montauk was briefly an island during the storm when the road to the easternmost tip of the South Fork was submerged. And downtown Riverhead was under water after the nearby Peconic River crested and flooded Main Street.
“With perseverance, by being good neighbors, showing patience and grace, even in the face of tough times, we will get through this time of crisis together,” Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said.
Scenes of blackouts, gas lines, closed roads, beach erosion and debris cleanup there mirror the rest of the Island. This time of year, tourists usually would have been flocking to East End pumpkin-picking farms and North Fork wineries for harvest season.
New York State Department of Conservation officials said that Cupsogue County Park on the western end of Dune Road was almost completely washed into Moriches Bay. The DEC is also responding to another breach on the other side of the Moriches Inlet at Smith Point County Park — one of two breaches on Fire Island.
The East Hampton Star reported that Montauk was temporarily cut off for the first time since Hurricane Carol in 1954 when the Sandy’s storm surge washed over Montauk Highway at the east end of Napeague during the peak of the storm Monday into Tuesday.
Montauk was also home to one of the at least six Long Islanders who died during Sandy, according to The Sag Harbor Express. East Hampton Village Police told the newspaper that the body of 52-year-old Edith “Dee” Wright was discovered Tuesday morning on Georgica Beach in East Hampton.
“It is believed that Wright was walking her dog on a beach in Montauk when she was carried into the ocean and perished,” the Express reported.
Dune Road in Southampton township was underwater and covered in sand after the storm washed away the dunes, The Southampton Press reported. The road will reportedly reopen this weekend while the work to restore the beach front gets underway.