Southold resident Lynn Laskos, who lives on storm-ravaged, had tears in her eyes this week speaking of recent news that help to mitigate damage to the devastated shoreline is on the way.
The Suffolk County Legislature to appropriate $100,000 to plan and design protection for County Road 48 in the Hashamomuck Cove area.
The initiative was spearheaded by who, Laskos said, “has never forgotten us.”
Over the past 20 years, Mother Nature has socked a crippling blow to the Hashamomuck Cove shoreline – and sparked a significant threat to County Road 48.
Lasko, president of the Hashamomuck Cove Group, has dedicated years of effort toward educating public officials on the escalating crisis and the need to address the issue before tragedy strikes.
Standing outside the home that has been in her family for years – a raging storm took down the original house in 1994 – Laskos said while homeowners have been hit hard, there are larger issues at stake.
“On a good day,” Laskos said, the water rises on the beach, bringing it only 12 feet from County Road 48. “If we have one more storm, that road is going,” she said. “Our homes are now the only buffer to County Road 48.”
Should Route 48 become compromised and impassable, gas service and water mains could rupture due to erosion and crashing debris, Laskos said. “That means the last eleven miles of Long Island will have no gas and no water.”
Other critical concerns include difficulties for emergency vehicles, which would have to detour and lose valuable time; a lack of access to ; and rendering police and fire departments unable to respond.
Other potential impacts, Laskos said, could mean seniors at or , being stranded and left with no access to services.
Laskos has become a voice for her neighbors, sounding the call for action about a situation that grows more critical with every passing storm. And, she added, damage is far less expensive to mitigate now, before further erosion ensues, and before Route 48 is wiped out by a fierce storm. “Time is of the essence,” she said.
That’s why news of the legislature’s vote to secure funding is, after eight years of working toward solutions, so welcome: “I see this as great strides,” Laskos said. “People in Southold Town should be jumping up and down for joy – that’s your road.”
And the residents of Hashamomuck Cove, who check on one another after every storm and care about one another like “a family,” Laskos said, are grateful to Romaine and staffer Bill Faulke for their continued efforts. Romaine, she added, “has been a rock” throughout the long journey, never forgetting residents. “Thank you isn’t enough,” she said.