New dunes offer protection for Howard Beach residents - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

New dunes offer protection for Howard Beach residents

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Fifty million dollars will be spent to protect a waterfront neighborhood in Queens against flooding.

New York's Governor says federal funding for a massive project in Howard Beach has been approved.

One hundred and fifty acres will be reshaped with new dunes, marshes and grasslands to help limit the effect of flood waters.

Howard Beach was one many New York City communities that suffered severe damage, when Superstorm Sandy hit last year.

The tidal surge during Sandy reached up to 6 feet above ground level and 1,958 homes and 38 businesses were damaged there, as well as two schools, officials said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency reported that 700 affected homes received disaster relief loans totaling $43 million.

The project would create a uniform elevation meant to limit flood waters and waves reaching the community. About 765,000 cubic yards of material would be excavated to create higher contours inland, with some 40,000 cubic yards of sand imported to create a 6-inch cover for planting.

It's expected to result in almost 87 acres of upland buffer from dunes and forest, 49 acres of low marsh, 10 acres of high marsh and six acres of tidal creek.

Officials called it a smart investment in storm defenses that are consistent with enhancing the natural environment.

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