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Year After Irene, Rockaway Beach Repairs Press On

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TWC News: Year After Irene, Rockaway Beach Repairs Press On
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Efforts to repair some of the damage from Hurricane Irene are still under way nearly a year later, including the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.

Workers were out on the Rockaway Beach boardwalk Wednesday repairing a portion damaged almost a year ago, and has some residents wondering why it's been taking so long.

"I think that Rockaway Beach for whatever, gets ignored for whatever reason, I don't know," said one Rockaway resident.

The boardwalk and beach area received significant damage when Irene plowed through last August. Some of the damage remains like parts of the boardwalk where surging waters destroyed walls that help keep the sand on the beach.

The city Parks Department says it's starting to make progress. A new ramp to the beach is nearly complete after some fits and starts.

"We needed some permits, we needed obviously to have the money in place, and then hire a contractor, and then they need to procure supplies, some of the supplies took longer to obtain than others," said Parks Department Rockaway Administrator Jill Weber.

Ordered materials include wood for boardwalk repairs that arrived just a few weeks ago. The tropical wood is more durable and longer-lasting. It also had to come through the Panama Canal.

"In this case it came through South America and it had to go though the canal. We were told that there were some delays that there were some strikes possibly, but in finally did arrive and we are making good use of it," Weber said.

"It absolutely could have been done months and months sooner and we want to see it done in the next month or so," said Community Board 14 Chairperson Dolores Orr.

For other Rockaway residents, they're just glad to see work finally getting done.

"They're repairing it. It's not like they're not doing it. It's not like they are saying we're not going to fix it. They're fixing it," noted on Rockaway resident.

"It's taken a year but my feeling is they could have repaired it very quickly and done a really sloppy job, but it's taken a year and they are doing a really good job," said another Rockaway resident.

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