Source: Jim Henderson via Wikimedia Commons

The iconic parks of Southern Brooklyn damaged by Superstorm Sandy will remain closed for months while the city focuses its resources on higher priority disaster needs according to a report in the New York Daily News.

Parts of the famed Coney Island Boardwalk, nearby Coney playgrounds, the Red Hook Recreation Center, and all of Manhattan Beach park will remain closed indefinitely until clean up crews and repairmen get to them. The clean up and repairs themselves are expected to take months, and there is a possibility that they will be closed through the early part of the coming summer.

While everyone wants to enjoy the use of the public parks and spaces come summer, delays into their restoration is understandable given the priority of addressing the livelihoods of those lost homes, power, and vital services due to Sandy’s relentless destruction. Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey echoed this sentiment to the Daily News, stating that, “There are many issues at the moment that are larger than open space. You’ve got residents without heat or homes and major disruption of services.”

Still, business owners in and around the parks are worried that the delayed restoration will keep the large crowds away, forcing them to cut back on hours and jobs.

“It’s like a trifecta,” Stephanie Rodriguez, a ticker-taker for the Wonder Wheel, told the Daily News. “If we have a dirty beach and boardwalk the beachgoers will go somewhere else. The attraction owners will lose money — then they’ll cut the employees’ hours and we’ll be broke.”

As for Manhattan Beach Park, the Parks Department is hopeful that it will be fully open come summer, but that possibility is still subject to further storm damage assessment.

While the parks are low on the priority list, Jeffrey’s agency has tapped into federal emergency funds to recruit over 300 temporary clean up crew workers who are addressing the damage at Coney, Manhattan Beach, and Red Hook.

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  • bill

    How do you close a beach?
    Is the water prevented from reaching the shoreline? What more do you need to
    enjoy the place where water meets the sand?

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      they blocked every entrance into Manhattan Beach (the park). I mean, you can get in if you want, the fences aren’t very formidable last I looked, but I thought I also saw a guard walking around in there.

      • Kool4Coney

        yet the polar bears of coney island have already had two official swims…and have every intention of holding their famous new years day swim too – wonder how this is being allowed by parks

    • cleanUPtheCoastline

      I think the problem is what is on the ground UNDER the water and what is now buried under the sand. the sand has been swept up into piles but it hasnt been sifted, the coastal waters havent been cleaned either. someone could walk into the water and step on plumbing from breezy point :( heaven knows how the cleanup of our coastal waters is going to get done – right now ONLY the surface debris has been removed.

      • bill

        To clean up under the water Heaven will probably use the
        same system it always has. But as in all things NYC, fear of lawsuits, job
        protection, flexing authority and ego, it sounds like the “beaches” probably wouldn’t
        be “opened” anytime soon; even to enjoy a stroll along the shore.

  • loveJimmy’s

    if Manhattan beach isnt opened this summer where will I eat my JIMMY’s tuna hero?

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