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One of the things that needs to be carefully looked at after the devastating sweep of Hurricane Sandy is how beachfront communities can protect themselves from future storms, of which there will most certainly be.
In 1900, after a hurricane devastated Galveston, Texas, and killed nearly 10,000 people, the survivors decided that their city had to have protection from the Gulf of Mexico. Tons of sand were transported into the city to raise every structure 17 feet to be level with the top of the sea wall, which was being built to protect the city from future storm surges.
Today, the seawall still stands strong, as does Galveston. In the Rockaways, the same type of project should be considered. Every building on the Rockaway Peninsula should be raised 17 feet higher by having sand funneled under each one. A seawall 17 feet high, similar to the one in Galveston, should be constructed along the entire length of the peninsula, and a new boardwalk should be built on top of the seawall, constructed out of concrete instead of wood.
This undertaking may seem far-fetched and would need the assistance of the federal government, but it is an idea that our local, state and federal officials should at least consider. There must be steps taken to prevent another devastating storm surge from destroying the Rockaways, as well as Coney Island in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Fire Island.
We can no longer bury our heads in the sand like ostriches and act like nothing is wrong. Hurricane Sandy was a devastating wake-up call for us.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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