The photo at right shows the first load of sand (about 2500 cubic yards) being pumped onto the beach near the Fair Harbor-Saltaire border by Weeks Marine, Inc (WMI) on Wednesday, January 27. (Click on the photo for a larger image.) Another eight loads were pumped before the operation shut down due to rough seas at around 7:00 a.m. on Thursday.
Dredging is expected to resume on Friday, when the storm should have passed. Pumping will go on 24/7, weather permitting, until all the projects are completed. The hopper dredge shown in the photo (the R.N. Weeks) is attached to a pumping station that moves the sand to the beach through a submerged line. The borrow area (sand source) is not where the vessel is sitting in the photograph, but approximately 1.6 miles southeast from the project location. The pumping platform will stay where it is until the western reach (Saltaire to Lonelyville) is completed. Then the submerged pipeline and floating hose will be relocated to the next (central) reach. A second pumping platform and submerged pipeline will be used for the Fire Island Pines and Davis Park projects, starting in mid-February.
The beach is now closed to driving, except for emergency vehicles, between the Kismet Cut and the Town of Islip Beach (Atlantique).