Hurricane Sandy utterly destroyed the Rockaway boardwalk

lewandowski-rockaway-beach-boardwalk-after-hurricane-sandy

Image source: NYDN – Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski near Beach 101st Street

The NY Daily News reports on the “unprecedented” destruction of the Rockaway boardwalk caused by Hurricane Sandy. People knew it was bad but were still astonished at the damage. In the words of Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park), “A symbol of the destruction has been the boardwalk.” Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said, “It’s sheer devastation.”

Here is what folks down there have witnessed as part of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, with before and after aerial photos (Image source: Google Crisis Map). Click to enlarge photos:

Between Beach 110th St. and Beach 88th St. consist of concrete frames and no wood at all. “Post-apocalyptic” is one way it has been described. Here is the area about mid-way near the low Beach 90s.

Before:

beach-93rd-rockaway-boardwalk-before-hurricane-sandy

After:

beach-93rd-rockaway-boardwalk-after-hurricane-sandy
In the Beach 60s, sections of boardwalk were ripped out along the seams and now lie in the sand; steel railings snapped into multiple pieces. This is near Beach 67th St.

Before:

beach-60s-rockaway-boardwalk-before-hurricane-sandy

After:

beach-60s-rockaway-boardwalk-after-hurricane-sandy
Near Beach 36th St. sections of boardwalk were knocked off their foundation and pushed inland

Before:

beach-36th-rockaways-boardwalk-before-hurricane-sandy

After:

beach-36th-rockaways-boardwalk-hurricane-sandy

It’s important to note that Beach 86th St. is home to a jetty, which helped to save this part of the boardwalk.

It comes as no surprise that next summer’s Rockaway boardwalk experience will be quite different from those past. A number of the food vendors will be operating out of trailers rather than their regular spots on the boardwalk.

Parks Department Staff are trying to salvage as much wood as they can from the boardwalk; some of the wood came from tropical rain forests, so recycling it is being advocated by some. The debate about what materials to use in rebuilding the boardwalk has surfaced as well – concrete vs. wood. Concrete that looks like wood may be the compromise, since the concrete elements of the boardwalk stood up to Sandy much better than the wood did.

Comprehensive survey of Rockaway boardwalk reveals unprecedented destruction [NYDN]