Businesses at Misquamicut Beach rush to repair storm damage - WNEM TV 5

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Businesses, city officials at Misquamicut State Beach rush to repair storm damage

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WESTERLY, RI (WFSB) -

This week Eyewitness News looked into how many businesses near the Misquamicut Beach in Rhode Island are trying to reopen for the season, if at all.

The landscape has changed drastically with sand in the streets, homes and businesses. However, there is still a lot of damage to landmark places, such as hotels and restaurants, that could affect your summer vacation.

Some Connecticut residents refuse to wait. They're already in the water and laying out at Misquamicut State Beach.

"This is a very popular place for people from Connecticut and Rhode Island to come here and stay at the hotels, have dinner, go to the beach during the day," said Westerly Town Manager Steven T. Hartford.

Eyewitness News took a tour with Hartford on the beach that had been ripped to pieces.

The Andrea Hotel, which is the four-story building dating back to 1912, was severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy. It was no longer safe to let stand so it had to be torn down.

All that remains is a fireplace from the hotel and part of a restaurant, which will open even though the hotel is gone.

"There are definitely going to be less rooms," Hartford said.

Maria's Seaside Cafe also won't be around this summer. Other businesses such as Paddy's are working non-stop to reopen by the middle of May.

Amy Martira, who runs a photography business in Westerly, captured some of the damage and took video from above showing how Misquamicut State Beach was practically underwater.

Six months later, the beach has been replenished after all of the sand that washed into the streets was put back, which created a much higher dune.

"It's going to be different," Martira said. "It's still beautiful here and everyone has done a great job putting the beach back together."

During Superstorm Sandy, all of the sand at Misquamicut washed into the streets and it picked up a lot of debris.

Over the past few months, they have been sifting every grain of sand before placing it back on the beach and officials there said it has created one of the cleanest beaches in New England.

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