Westerly still rebuilding two years after Superstorm Sandy

WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s been two years since Superstorm Sandy walloped the East Coast, but some of the storm’s effects can still be seen in the hardest-hit communities.

The town of Westerly was one of those communities, but the last piece of the recovery puzzle is about to fall into place.

“I remember coming down with the governor and a couple other state officials, and we stopped at the Andrea, where I worked for 15 years,” recalled Caswell Cooke of the Misquamicut Business Association. “I remember tears in my eyes, it was literally devastating.”

After numerous other improvements throughout the town, the last recovery project will soon be complete – the Westerly Town Beach pavilion. Cooke said Sandy ripped the deck off, undermined the building a bit, and temporary measures had to be put in place to use it the past couple of years.

After a long permitting and planning process, workers are now preparing to move the pavilion back from the ocean.

“I think it’s a good situation to bring the structure back, raise it to the required height, close the dune off in the front, and replace the deck,” Cooke said.

The building will be moved back to the middle of the parking lot. Some of the improvements include a new roof and windows, which can sustain hurricane-force winds.

“When you’ve had the storms like we had before, we can weather them, and I think it’s worth it to keep repairing the infrastructure, but make it better so it is more resilient,” added Cooke.

The new Westerly Town Beach pavilion is expected to be completed by Memorial Day.

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