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Street Dunes

W 15th Street Dunes, Coney Island. November 25, 2012. Photo © Jay Singer

During Hurricane Sandy, Coney Island’s beach lost two to three feet of sand. Windblown sand covered the boardwalk and adjacent streets, burying the kiddie rides and parking meters. Volunteers spent days sweeping and shoveling it back where it belonged. Over the weekend, the Parks Department U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed West 15th Street and created temporary sand dunes from the Boardwalk to Wonder Wheel Way, and they are still adding sand. It looks like a movie set. Somebody should make a movie before these dreamlike street dunes disappear. “The sand was all trucked over from the huge sand dunes the storm created at the foot of Ocean Parkway,” says Coney Island photographer and filmmaker Jay Singer, who snapped a series of surreal photos. “Fresh clean sand, to be redistributed back onto the beach.”

Parachute Jump and Street Dune

Parachute Jump and Street Dune. Coney Island. November 25, 2012. Photo © Jay Singer

UPDATE November 27, 2012:

More info on the street dunes via today’s post on the U.S. Army’s official homepage! According to the update, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and contracted crews have been working 12-hour night shifts to clear up the sand blown by Sandy onto Coney Island’s streets. In Army parlance, the West 15th Street dunes are a TSS –temporary storage site — and since Saturday over 230 trucks carried an estimated 4,600 cubic yards to the TSS.

To date, the Army Corps has moved an estimated 32,000 cubic yards of sand, the equivalent of roughly 12 Olympic-size swimming pools, out of Coney Island neighborhoods to nearby Jacob Riis Park, a temporary collection site currently used for holding Sandy-related debris.

Last week though, Riis was nearing its capacity for sand placement. In order to avoid any delays to cleanup, the Army Corps decided to establish a temporary storage site, or TSS, at West 15th Street on Coney Island. The site is located directly adjacent to the amusement park, home to such landmarks as Nathan’s Hotdogs and the Cyclone rollercoaster. With the street blocked off, the Army Corps has set up a scissor lift in order to scan trucks.

The article says the sand will eventually be returned to area beaches by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection after being inspected for public safety. In the meantime, instead of referring to Coney’s 15th Street dunes as a “TSS,” how about calling them a “TTA” – Temporary Tourist Attraction!

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Related posts on ATZ...

November 1, 2012: Photos of the Day: Devastation at Coney Island’s Sea Gate

October 31, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

October 29, 2012: Photos of the Day: Hurricane Sandy Approaches Coney Island

September 25, 2012: Video of the Day: Gotta Love Coney Island by Jay Singer

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