Most of the marinas and waterfront restaurants along Staten Island's Great Kills Harbor suffered significant damage from Hurricane Sandy. Business owners were initially in shock, but now they are making plans to rebuild and prepare for the future. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
The South Shore Rotary Club meets every week at the Marina Grand, a catering hall overlooking Great Kills Harbor.
It was shut for more than two weeks after Hurricane Sandy knocked out its power and flooded its first floor.
Now, with new carpeting, fresh paint and some holiday decorations, the Marina Grand is back.
"There's people coming down, spending money," Marina Grand owner Joey D'Alessio said. "It breathes life into the neighborhood."
D'Alessio said damage to the catering hall was somewhat limited because it's four feet above ground and not directly on the water.
But that is in stark contrast with his other restaurant, the Marina Cafe, where the dock that once surrounded it was blown into the establishment.
That debris has since been cleared out, the cafe gutted and the work to rebuild has already begun.
This time around, D'Alessio said he's looking to buy equipment that can withstand a severe storm so he won't have to replace everything if or when there's another one.
"Who expected six to eight feet and a storm surge and 110 mile an hour winds," D'Alessio said. "You can't really prepare anymore than that."
The storm surge also engulfed the Richmond County Yacht Club. It tossed boats and portions of the floating docks over the pier.
Inside, six feet of water drenched the hardwood floors, doused the electrical system and left the entire lower level in need of renovation, which is being done, in part, by club members.
"Maybe we'll do a concrete retaining wall in the front and the floor will be changed, probably be a ceramic floor concrete that you can just hose down if you get water," club member Carmine Aloia said. We're trying to prevent what happened this time in the future."
Every year during the holiday season the yacht club hosts a tree-trimming party.
That party will take place Friday because despite the extensive damage caused by Sandy, members say they couldn't imagine skipping it.