Beaches preparing to reopen Memorial Day - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Beaches preparing to reopen Memorial Day

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OLD LYME, CT (WFSB) -

Cleanup continues as beaches along the shoreline including Hammonasset State Park are about a month away from their planned opening Memorial Day weekend.

After the damage left by Superstorm Sandy and Blizzard Charlotte, crews were busy Thursday and officials with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) were hoping for bond money to make long-term investments in the parks.

DEEP Crews actually started their cleanup way before the snow was even starting to melt because of the damage left by the storms.

"It's a lot of work, a lot of cleanup people have to do," said Falynn Bristol, of Clinton. "It's a shame."

Debris was pushed into huge piles that are sitting in giant empty parking lots waiting for the chippers.

"I live in Westbrook which is a shoreline town as well," said Kim Bennett, of Westbrook. "Our beach has suffered. It's hard to see but obviously they have a lot of work to do."

On Friday, the state bond commission will consider a $1.7 million request to repair storm damaged facilities at Hammonasset State Park as well as to the state's marine district headquarters in Old Lyme.

As for rebuilding the boardwalk in Madison, that's not in the plans, and neither is putting more sand back on West Beach at Hammonasset.

However, future improvements were on the drawing board.

"At West Beach here, we are doing a new bath house, a concession," said DEEP supervisor Jack Hine. "The old concession will be demolished, more consolidated, elevated above the 100-year flood plain."

With 2 million visitors to Hammonasset last year, park managers said they have to make improvements to keep patrons happy.

There will also be plenty of camp firewood to burn this summer at Rocky Neck State Park and at other state campgrounds because the blizzard snapped and downed limbs damaged by Sandy.

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