The Village of West Hampton Dunes has had more than its fair share of storm damage over the years — the 1962 Ash Wednesday storm left most of the village's homes under water — but as "frankenstorm" approaches, Mayor Gary Vegliante, says he has never felt more secure about the village's beaches.
"Our beaches are bigger than they have ever been before," said Vegliante on Friday, as he kept a close eye on the various Hurricane storm models on his desktop computer. "We have never felt more comfortable."
However, Vegliante, who said he does not think this storm will be anything like the Perfect Storm of 1992, is still being very cautious. Last year's Tropical Storm Irene hit the area hard, closing the road, however minimal beach and home damage was inflicted.
- PHOTOS: Dune Road the Day After Irene
"You can never tell what will happen," said Vegliante.
Vegliante said that like other municipalities, West Hampton Dunes has already started to set up emergency procedures, calling in additional staff.
"I will be here all weekend with our clerk, trustees and police," he said. "Our first priority is keeping the community safe."
With that, Vegliante says village officials will be out inspecting properties to ensure that everything is tied down. For the most part, he said, village residents who do not live in the area year-round have been advised to shore up their homes before leaving at the end of the summer.
"Most of the homes have hurricane windows and shutters, but if the storm hits, there will be a lot of hammering come Sunday," he said.
Vegliante said if necessary, village personal will help second homeowners to shore up their homes, but many of them have already hired contractors to take care of their property.
Like it did during Irene, the village has plans to close off the village to outsiders.
"During storms it is always popular for people to break into houses. We will keep our eyes open and make sure there are no bad guys."
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