As the waves slapped against the crumbling seawall, there was an overwhelming din of equipment loading tree debris including trunks 2-feet thick into heavy trucks at Greenwich Point Saturday afternoon.
During the first day of the park being open to the public since Hurricane Sandy decimated the coastline along the Eastern Seaboard on Oct. 29, Greenwich residents were able to visit their beloved park Saturday and witness the ravages of the storm.
"Oh my God, look at the damage," was the frequent refrain heard from visitors, many armed with cameras to record their visions.
The damage is visible from driving through the Lucas Point causeway—capstones that lined the seawalls were washed away—to the guard shack where no one was turned away Saturday.
By 1 p.m., 350 visitors had checked in from the official opening of 7 a.m.
The dunes that lined the entrance to the former Queen Anne building that now houses the Floren Family Seaside education center have been flattened.The adjacent north concession stand has been ripped apart. The building had been slated for a complete renovation and restoration by the Greenwich Point Conservancy.
But even before reaching the center and the north concession stande, the damage is evident—gone are the dunes and sea grasses that greeted visitors. There isn't an area in the 147-acre park that doesn't exhibit some damage from the hurricane—roadways were partially washed out; mounds of sand and seashells dot the shoulders of the roads; fencing that protected dunes has been knocked out, bushes and grasses that protected the southern most tip of The Point have been washed away.
Greenwich Parks and Recreation Director Joe Siciliano said Friday that a team of engineers and consultants will descend upon the town's parks to assess the damage on Monday and compile a report for the town to use in seeking approvals and funds from insurance companies and FEMA to make necessary repairs.
Greenwich Point will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. (And dogs will not be allowed until Dec. 1.)
For more Hurricane Sandy coverage, click here.