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Breaking News: Emergency Permitting underway to save homes and Route 48

Hashomomuck Cove after the Christmas Storm of Dec 26th 2010

The storm that arrived on the East End of Long Island yesterday in Southold is not one that will be forgotten. While the snow did not materialize as much as forecast, the wind is exceeding all expectations and has caused major damage to both town assets and private property alike. Town Beach took a major hit. Areas of Soundview Avenue just west of Route 48 disappeared. Every home along the Long Island Sound in Southold Town seems to have been affected in some way. John Betsch, a resident of North Sea Drive, Southold, and Chair of Southold VOICE, who lost lost six vertical feet of beach in front of his house, stated,

“I can say that it’s the worst that I have ever seen.”

Worse still, Hashamomuck Cove lost major beach area, and substantial structural damage was inflicted on portions of two homes by the storm that arrived December 26th in the afternoon, and beat the area for 24 hours. Airports are still closed and the wind is still howling with strong gusts as we go to press at 5.30pm December 27th. Vulnerabilities of this area of the Long Island Sound to storm damage were featured recently by Southold VOICE in several articles, an area that is now in an even more precarious state since the weekend, with the Sound now moved closer to Route 48 than it has ever been, some say down to a mere 10ft. Lynn Laskos, Chair of the Hashomomuck Cove Group said,

Today our nightmare came true, We lost 2 houses at Hashamomuck Cove and County Road 48 is 12 feet from being washed out.

We need all levels of government to step up and help secure this portion of the cove. Enough is enough!! we have lost homes and thankful no lives…

Stop the studies, stop the back and forth.. let’s pull together and correct this before all homes and County Road washes out.

We need your help, Not only people but County Road 48

She provided Southold VOICE with these photos :

In times like this, everyone says they will help. SoutholdVOICE contacted both the Trustees and Town Board asking:

“I am hopeful that SV member Lynn Laskos, her family and those others in the Hashamomuck Cove area can count on your strong and expeditious support in the permitting process as they try to not only save their homes but also Route 48 as well.  Two houses are now gone and unless permits are issued quickly, I am sure more will follow.

It has been a long and arduous process for the Hashamomuck Cove area residents as they try to save Route 48 – and from the picture attached – it has been too, too long before anything concrete was done.”

SoutholdVOICE has previously reported extensively about the threat of a Hashamomuck Cove washout. See our archives for the history of this situation, specifically:

Sept 10 2010: Call to Action

Sept 22 2010: County Rd 48 Washout – Press Conference

October 4 2010: Update about new Study to Study the Study

An update on what’s happening came by phone and email late afternoon Monday Dec 27th. Southold Trustee Dave Bergen provided valuable information on the status of what has transpired so far and the steps needed to obtain the necessary permitting. Trustee Bob Ghosio wrote in part,

”The erosion is tremendous, town beach basically is gone. I saw the area down by the Corwin cottage [Hashamomuck Cove]. Emergency permitting will happen as need be. The Trustees are already in touch with each other and we’ll be assessing the damage after the storm surge subsides. We have already been in touch with Ed Romaine’s office, the DEC and the other town officials. Everyone is very much aware of the tenuous situation on the cove. Let’s hope for the best today and thank God no one is hurt. As you know I, Jill, Dave and John Bredemeyer support a comprehensive plan for this area and been a supporter of addressing the need for erosion control, along with Ed Romaine. I will continue to work to get this problem addressed. As of now, my only suggestion for the organization [Southold VOICE] would be to gather letters and petitions and get them to the county and DEC urging that they get moving with a plan to restore and protect the area before it is lost for good.”

Cooperation is needed by ALL including the Town Board, Board of Trustees, Suffolk County, and the DEC and possibly FEMA.

This article will be updated as we receive more information and photos. The wind had still not subsided as we went to press. Watch this space.

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