By Mike Busch
The original Bellport Beach Pavilion, built-in 1983, was not only demolished by Superstorm Sandy, it disappeared, just leaving a hole where it once stood. With the help of FEMA, a new walkway and pavilion was completed in July 2015. Built with treated Douglas Fir and pilings buried 26 feet deep, the structure was expected to be a long-term survivor but perhaps mother nature has something else in mind. There was a close call in the Spring of 2017 after it was deemed unsafe after storms pulled sand from beneath the structure. A few months later the sand built up to meet the minimum standard of 10 above the bottom of the pilings and the pavilion was declared safe by engineers hired by the Village.
Fire Island and Beyond has been providing occasional updates, click here for more video and images over the last few years.
Normally the gentle summer surf rebuilds the beach in time for storm season but that didn’t happen this year. We first grew concerned in Mid August when Jan Shannon sent in photos of the beach in front of the pavilion replaced by water right up to the stairs and tipping the lifeguard stand over so it could not be used.
Next came the new moon tide and some east wind starting Sunday September 9th. Monitoring the Davis Park surf and beach cams, I noticed high tide right up to the dune line. Knowing Bellport would be in tougher shape I wanted to check it out but the rainy and foggy weather kept me away until late Tuesday afternoon.
The video above and images below were all taken with a drone to get an aerial view of the situation. In Part II I will post another video and gallery from ground level.
More Images on Page 2