One year ago the quaint idyllic Grandview Gardens Beach Club on Grandview Drive in Blue Point was rocked hard by super storm Sandy, as were club members’ homes on nearby Ocean Avenue and Clearview Place.
Tonight the club will come together at their beach and celebrate a year of recovering from a storm that knocked out the beach club’s bulk head, pushed a boatload of sand full up into the street and and wreaked havoc on homes and landscaping.
The celebration, which starts as dusk descends, marks a year of battling for help from Brookhaven Town to fix everything from storm drains to bulk heading to sidewalks.
A year later and not all the work has yet to be completed. Storm drain repair is still needed on Grandview and Ocean, though a bulkhead rebuild at the end of Bergen was in progress as of mid October.
The beach club is the site of the former Grandview Gardens developed in the late 1920s. Residents say the club was formed sometime in the 30's or 40's and incorporated in 1954.
Tonight’s ‘Sandy Anniversary Party’ is a way to thank those who have helped restore the beach and the surrounding neighborhood.
“We want to thank everyone for the tremendous support,” said beach club member Terri Quinn.
”It's been a very long journey and although there is still work to be done, we wanted to get together to say goodbye to a hellish year and welcome in what we hope will be a century of peace and tranquility,” she wrote in an email to Patch.
On a recent visit to the beach sot, Grandview Drive resident Larry Glenn recalled how the club had just finished raising $20,000 before Sandy hit, to replace the club’s bulkhead. But that bulkhead didn’t play a role in devastation, he said.
He explained that the town bulkhead further east, at the end of Bergen, had been in need of dire repair prior to Sandy and was the main culprit in why the bay surged so high and fast.
“It was just arrogant neglect by the town in not repairing it all the years prior. We had been complaining to the town for years that it needed fixing. All the devastation could have been avoided if that bulkhead had been in good shape,” he told Patch during a walking tour of the neighborhood.
A resident of Grandview for eight years, Glenn pointed out storm drains still in need of repair, cracked sidewalks and homes still busy repairing basements and yards.
“The waves were rolling in. I had never seen water on the side streets,” he recalled.
At one point during the storm a local fire truck came down to help with potential safety issues and got caught up in the waves and landed on Glenn’s front yard.
“It was just a nightmare,” said Glenn who stayed in his home throughout the storm.
He wasn’t’ alone as many neighbors stayed and those who left returned quick to start helping each other out.
“There’s a kinship here, a generational sense of community where we all help each other whenever someone needs it,” he said.
The party tonight is a commemoration of how the small beach club of 33 members joined forces and moved forward to repair all that was damaged.
“It’s been a true banding together and it’s a celebration of our continuing effort to restore the beach and our homes.”