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Orchard Beach Set To Reopen Wednesday

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TWC News: Orchard Beach Set To Reopen Wednesday
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Orchard Beach is set to re-open Wednesday after Hurricane Sandy impacted the popular area. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.

Parks employees and cleanup crews were hard at work Tuesday, preparing to welcome visitors back to Orchard Beach Wednesday. The area has been off limits since Hurricane Sandy hit.

In the wake of the storm, no one has been able to play basketball, handball or hit the swings. People, including one couple out on a date, haven't been able to get to the beach.

"It is a beautiful day," said one person. "The weather is great. We were just trying to go see if maybe we could get some sandwiches by the beach."

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation said 60 mature trees were either knocked down by the wind or had to be cut down later on. Because Orchard Beach is within Pelham Bay Park, lots of other trees had to be inspected to make sure they wouldn't fall on anyone.

One parking lot has been used as a collection area for more than 1,000 damaged trees from across the Bronx.

One bike rider said the clean up needs to hurry up.

"It is enough," he said. "Look how many weeks they have been in there, and then the money that they pay these guys, forget about it. Already, they are a bunch of lazies."

The city said that's not the case. They said they've been working hard to make repairs. Sections of the boardwalk, which is made of paving stones, were damaged.

Orchard Beach is a popular destination for many people, and over the last several years, the city has spent millions of dollars to improve the beach and the parks.

People can't wait to get back out and enjoy it all.

"It is comfortable," said one person. "Just to relax your mind. Something different from living in the city."

As the beach reopens, the city is urging people to stay away from areas that remain closed because of damage.

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