Rockaway Beaches to Open Memorial Day Weekend: Officials

By Gus Rosendale
|  Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013  |  Updated 11:43 AM EDT
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Residents in the Sandy-ravaged Rockaways packed into a community board meeting Tuesday night to discuss the future of their wrecked boardwalk. Gus Rosendale reports live from Rockaway Beach.

Residents in the Sandy-ravaged Rockaways packed into a community board meeting Tuesday night to discuss the future of their wrecked boardwalk. Gus Rosendale reports live from Rockaway Beach.

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Rockaway beaches will open Memorial Day weekend, with the same amount of swimming areas as in past years and the same number of lifeguards, Parks Department officials said.

Residents in the Sandy-ravaged Rockaways packed a community board meeting Tuesday night to discuss the future of their wrecked boardwalk since Sandy ravaged the beachfront icon.

Huge sections ended up on city streets and inside homes. The storm also wiped away dunes, and all the damage left many to question the fate of beach life there in the coming months.

For this summer, only sections of the boardwalk will be rebuilt around concession areas and lifeguard stations, being called "boardwalk islands" by the Parks Department. 

The timeline of restoring a continuous stretch of the more than 5-mile boardwalk remains unclear. There is no firm deadline, budget or design plan currently in place. The city says it will be a lengthy process.

Belle Harbor resident Avi Kuntsler says he's confident everything will be rebuilt.

"It's going to get done," he said. "I know it's going to get done. It's the Rockaways."

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