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Dunkirk braces for more storm damage

Their new break wall has already severely shifted
Posted at 6:44 PM, Oct 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-04 10:34:53-05

DUNKIRK, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Dunkirk Pier may be underwater in only a few hours, and Lake Shore Boulevard - completely flooded.

“It doesn’t really scare us. We’re going to handle whatever happens,” said Randy Woodbury, the Dunkirk Director of Public Works.

He said a storm on Sunday took the city by surprise.

“I call it a perfect storm. It was a meteorological term for everything lining up in just the worst possible combination of wind direction, wind speed, all that stuff. It just hit us really hard by all those factors,” Woodbury said.

Waves swallowed the $1.7 million pier and flooded Lake Shore Boulevard, causing tens of thousands of dollars of damage.

“The pier held up well,” said Woodbury, “What didn’t hold up so well is a $4 million retaining wall.”

Mayor Wilfred Rosas told 7 Eyewitness News the process is already underway to secure emergency funding to help cover the repairs.

“We want the repairs to be done as soon as possible, weather permitting,” said Rosas.

“It’s going to happen again tonight,” said Woodbury.

Woodbury and the Mayor said once the storm hits the waves would be so big they’re crashing into the break walls possibly causing more damage.

“Potentially there could be 50-60 mph winds,” said Rosas, “That could cause some substantial damage so we’re preparing for that.”

The waves could grow about 8 feet, slamming into the break wall, again. But this time, Mayor Rosas said the city is prepared.

“We live in Western New York. These things happen. We have to be prepared every day for what mother nature may bring at us,” Rosas said.

The Dunkirk Pier is closed and, depending on how bad the storm gets, Lake Front Boulevard and Crooked Brooke Drive may close as well.