Conn. Shoreline Still Deals With Irene's Damage | NECN

Conn. Shoreline Still Deals With Irene's Damage

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Although many businesses are ready for Memorial Day weekend, there's still clean up going on from Tropical Storm Irene (Published Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014)

    (NECN: Brian Burnell) - The Connecticut shoreline is ready for Memorial Day Weekend 2012 but, believe it or not, there's still cleanup going from 2011.

    Remember Tropical Storm Irene? The folks at the Dock & Dine do.

    "There's a sea wall right underneath where we're standing," said Steve Smith, Dock & Dine manager. "That's dock and this is cement so what happens is the water comes in and it gets pushed back but it gets met by more water so it goes up."

    Smith explained to a couple of longtime customers what happened last August when Irene came ashore. He says there was two feet of water in the dining room.

    "We had customers who were down here in the parking lot telling us they actually saw waves going through the dining room," said Smith. "I would say substantial - some of the roof got peeled back so we had damage from the top and damage from the bottom."

    Marge and Ricky Swaye are longtime customers of the shoreline icon. They were here not long after Irene hit.

    "It was pretty sad. I mean you really saw everything got flushed out," said Swaye, of Cromwell, Conn. "You saw the docks were all lifted up and you could see all the damage inside."

    The repairs are ongoing and Steve had hoped to open in March, then by Mother's Day. Now late June is the target.

    To the west lies Hammonasset State Park, which took a good wallop from Irene as well but its open for business as summer begins.

    "We lost both of our bath houses on West Beach. Since that point we've reconstructed the dunes," said Henry Alves of Hammonasset State Park. "What we're trying to do now is doing beach retreating. So we're going to move all the boardwalk and all the buildings behind the sand dunes so it can prevent future damage."    

    In the end, the infrastructure at Hammonasset and Dock & Dine will be better and more resilient than it was before Irene.