Westerly rebuilds after Sandy

Jan 14, 2013

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Westerly town manager Steven Hartford says damage from Superstorm Sandy will probably exceed $20-M.  Roughly 150 homes and 30 businesses were damaged when the downgraded hurricane slammed into Rhode Island’s southern coast October 29th. 

Andrea Resort in Westerly
Credit Flo Jonic

You can drive down Atlantic Avenue beside Westerly’s Misquamicut Beach once again.  The roadway – which just eleven weeks ago was strewn with  piles of sand – is down to asphalt.   The sand has been moved to huge piles in parking lots. Once the debris is removed,  it will be put back onto Westerly’s eroded beaches.

But drive down Atlantic Avenue and you see the clean up is very much a work in progress. Some homes remain boarded up and dumpsters sit outside many others.
Town manager Steven Hartford says the beaches and parking lots should be ready for use by Memorial Day.
"It’s not going to look the same as it did last Memorial Day, I can assure people that, but the main thing is that the parking lots will be open. We will be open for business. We expect the state beach to be put back together."
But one local landmark is going to have to be torn down.
The Andrea Resort and Hotel stood up to the Hurricane of 1938 and Hurricane Carol back in 1954. But it could not withstand  the ferocious winds and surf of Superstorm Sandy.  

Owner Rebecca Colucci says the nearly 100-year-old inn will have to be torn down.
"Well our foundation got seriously undermined. The whole front half of the building got undermined to a point that the actual building is coming down. It’s a little overwhelming but things happen for a reason and hopefully this is our reason to build a stronger, better Andrea."
Colucci says she carried flood insurance but it paid only $500,000.  The family will have to borrow the rest to rebuild.

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