RYE, N.Y. – Lampposts and benches, attached to large pieces of boardwalk, were floating in the Long Island Sound next to Playland Park in Rye Tuesday as Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino toured the area to survey the damage.
“It’s sad to see Playland in this kind of condition. She was destructive all over the county,” said Astorino of Hurricane Sandy, adding that the county will get an assessment in the next few days of the full cost of Playland’s damage from the storm.
The pier near Tiki Bar was buckled and boards were lifted up, revealing the water below, while remnants of the restaurant’s outdoor freezer lay several feet away from the metal structure. Trees were down and metal fences were bent back from the force of Sandy’s wind on Monday. On the north side of the park, entire chunks of the iconic boardwalk were missing.
“This is one of the things that makes Playland, Playland – the boardwalk,” said Astorino, looking over a fence where the boardwalk once stood. County Parks Commissioner Kathy O’Connor said the boardwalk was washed away, rebuilt and repaired in the past. “We will rebuild the boardwalk,” Astorino promised.
O’Connor said flooding in the basement damaged Playland’s Ice Casino. During high tide overnight, sand, saltwater and fish were rushed in by storm surge and left floating in the building’s basement.
“The salt water, there could be damage to the motors and to the equipment, so we’re inspecting all of that. There’s damage within the ice rink, damage on the roof … it’s pretty extensive here,” said Astorino.
Sustainable Playland Inc., the company tentatively hired to reinvent the historic park, has not yet been informed of the level of damage at the park. “As bad as it is here, it’s still standing and the rides as far as we know were not damaged,” he said, adding that the county is still responsible for all damages.
“She came in with a fury. For whatever reason, Sandy didn’t like Playland,” said Astorino.
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