Year-round Fire Island residents will briefly be allowed back onto the barrier island to check on their homes, suvey damage and collect their belongings this weekend for the first time since Superstorm Sandy, officials announced Friday.
A 10 a.m. Saturday ferry from the Bay Shore terminal will take year-rounders across the Great South Bay and give them four hours for what was termed a “limited reoccupation.” Officials stressed that seasonal residents will not be allowed on the boat. There are about 500 year-rounders.
“This plan is the first step that Fire Island families can take to piece their livelihoods back together,” said Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci. “Unfortunately these structures are still unfit for permanent rehabitation, but this will hopefully provide some relief to families who haven’t seen their homes in weeks.”
Fire Island was breached in Smith Point County Park and within the national seashore. More than 100 people ignored the evacuation order before the storm and stayed on the island, although there were no reported injuries. Power has yet to be fully restored to the island.
Croci said that New York State troopers will enforce the restrictions. There will be no service to Seaview and Ocean Bay Park, he added. For more information, residents can call the Suffolk County Department of Emergency Management at 631-852-4900.
Suffolk County police have threatened to arrest boaters who voyage to FI despite the continued evacuation order.