Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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Sandy Storm Surges Ruin More Than Boats At Great Kills Harbor

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TWC News: Sandy Storm Surges Ruin More Than Boats At Great Kills Harbor
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When Sandy ripped through Great Kills Harbor, it swept up many boats in the area and washed them ashore. Now those boat owners are trying to restore the harbor, their boats and their lives. NY1's Anthony Pascale has more.

Mike Galgano and his boat, Milkman, have seen better days.

Sandy wrecked the boat he bought just two years ago, destroying his plans for the future along the way.

"It was my retirement," Galgano said. "It's gone."

It's a story that has been heard by many who had boats stored in the several marinas that sit along the Great Kills Harbor.

The powerful storm surge left many boats hundreds of feet away from where they were once stored.

Sal Capece was one of the lucky ones. His boat was tied up during the storm and sustained only minor damage.

"Just got the boat about five weeks ago," Capece said. He never imagined anything like this would happen.

Many say this area looks much better today than it did right after Sandy hit.

That's partly due to the crews that have been hard at work removing the boats from the street and putting them back into the marina. They've been using huge cranes to get the job done.

"They did start cleaning up," Susan Ganam said. "It's going to take some time. But it's still devastating. It's never going to leave the minds of everybody.

Not anytime soon for Joe D'Alessio who got hit twice during the storm.

He owns two restaurants near the Great Kills Harbor.

One of his restaurants, the Marina Grand, now has boats in its parking lot along with flood damage inside.

The Marina Cafe, his other restaurant, has been totally gutted and the dock that once surrounded the restaurant is now lodged into it.

"This is a major loss," Alessio said. "You hope some of the insurance works, you hope that FEMA or SBA comes into play and you hope your pockets are deep enough to reopen."

D'Alessio said the potential for other powerful storms scares him but he will rebuild and reopen both locations.

As for Galgano, he plans to find a new boat. But he knows not everyone can or will.

"It'll never be the same," he said.

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