This weekend’s storms sparked by Hurricane Ida battered the Plumb Beach coastline, leaving a trail of destruction and providing fuel for a new wave of jurisdictional battles between NYC Parks Department and the U.S. National Parks Service.
The tale of devastation was drawn in the sand, as rubble from the bike path dotted the shore, carving lines to the water. Trees lay like fallen solders, their sides partially submerged and their roots reaching into the air. The water clawed sand out from under roots and rock, leaving everything without ground to stand on. In all, as the hurricane swept up the northeastern coast, it pushed back Plumb Beach’s protective break-line several feet, felling dozens of trees, and crumbling about 100 yards of the bike path.
Bikers, bird watchers, and dog walkers were forced to walk in the grass alongside the Belt Parkway on Monday, as NYC Parks Department finished putting up fencing and caution signs along the path, declaring portions of the beach closed for safety reasons.
We’ll be checking in with Parks Department and local leaders to see what Plumb Beach’s future holds. But we expect some quarreling over responsibility to emerge as city, state, and federal authorities figure out who should foot the bill, as parts of the area are maintained by the NYC Parks Department and other parts belong to the U.S. National Parks Service. Still, the damage may present an opportunity to shore up the beach and consider better protection for the already at-risk highway, currently threatened by erosion.
To see the extent of the damage, browse the gallery below: