News Releases

Debris removal crews prepare to start 24-hour operations in Fire Island neighborhoods

Published March 19, 2013

YAPHANK, N.Y. – Starting this evening, residents on Fire Island will notice the debris removal crews setting up lights and generators and taking other steps to safely conduct nighttime debris removal from rights of way. This is a push to be able to meet the end of March completion goal.

"While this move to around-the-clock operations brings minor inconveniences, it is expected to benefit the residents on Fire Island,” said Lt. Col. John Knight, New York Recovery Field Office commander. “The 24-hour operations will help us meet our goal at the end of the month allowing the island residents time to prepare for the summer season.”

On March 12, the contractor began 24-hour barge operations to move debris from staging areas to the mainland for shipping to Tunnel Hill Reclamation Landfill in Perry County, Ohio. Sifted sand and chipped vegetative debris will remain on Fire Island.

Full-time island residents will notice lights and power generators running after dark so debris crews can work safely on the right of way in an effort to meet the end of March goal. They may also notice an increase in night time truck traffic moving debris to staging areas.

“We’re going to get this done as quickly and safely as we possibly can,” Knight said. “We appreciate the understanding of the Fire Island residents that these operations are necessary to meet our March goal, and regret any inconvenience this may cause residents.”

Nearly 1,600 Fire Island homes damaged by the storm are currently eligible for debris removal assistance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency tasked the Corps Nov. 24 to assist with removing debris on Fire Island as part of the federal Hurricane Sandy response and recovery efforts for New York. An estimated 62,000 cubic yards of debris is eligible for removal – enough to cover a football field up to three stories high.

Media interested in visiting the debris removal operation should contact George Stringham with the Corps’ Fire Island emergency field office at (651) 262-6804 or (631) 504-6971.

Photos of the debris removal operation are available for download here:

Work locations can be followed on Twitter: @USACE_NY and #FireIsland and our Hurricane Sandy website:

We’ll answer questions about the project posted to our Facebook page: and by email to:



George Stringham

Release no. 13-009