Michael Bredemeyer (center) standing in front of the demolition with his grandmother, Jeanne, (left) and mother, Beverly. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)
Lifelong Orient resident Michael Bredemeyer never imagined he could own a house in his hometown. Even with a steady job working as assistant parks and recreation supervisor at Orient Beach State Park, he believed the high cost of living on Long Island would eventually force him elsewhere in order to purchase a home of his own — and move out from his parents’ home.
FILE PHOTO | Superstorm Sandy caused millions in damage to Orient Beach State Park.
Orient Beach State Park is on the receiving end of more than $1 million of federal funding eight months after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the parts of the shoreline.
On Thursday, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand announced the New York Department of Transportation had been awarded approximately $1,783,778 to repair and upgrade the beach’s heavily damaged parkway.
During the storm, the two-mile-long entrance road and Gardiners Bay shoreline sustained serious erosion, and four sections of asphalt roadway were damaged and buried utility lines along the entrance drive were exposed. All of the buildings in the park were flooded and the storm surge and flooding destroyed dozens of trees and washed a lifeguard shack and picnic tables back from the beachfront.
“Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc along the parkway of Orient Beach State Park,” Mr. Schumer said in a statement. “These federal funds will ensure that local taxpayers are not on the hook for repairing this critical infrastructure. “
In addition to funding repairs, the money will be used toward hazard mitigation prevention measures to protect the facility from future natural disasters and flooding.
The repairs and hazard mitigation funding is being provided by Federal Emergency Management Agency through the state transportation department, which is responsive for maintaining the beach parkway.
In April the beach official re-opened following an extensive restoration, including the removal of hazardous trees, repairing the water treatment facility and elevating all utilities to above the flood zones.
Orient Beach State Park is open daily at 8 a.m. year-round.