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Long Island officials tour New Bedford hurricane barrier

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NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — A New York town that was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy is looking to New Bedford as it seeks to better protect its shores.

Leaders from Freeport, which is located on the south shore of Long Island, were given a tour of New Bedford’s hurricane barrier Monday to learn how it works and for ideas and advice on how to build their own.

Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy said the plan to build a hurricane barrier has been a topic of discussion for a while now. 

“We’ve seen the effectiveness that it’s had here and I’m really hoping that we can get it moved down to Nassau County,” Kennedy said.

The tour was led by a representative of the Army Corps of Engineers. Canal Manager Sean McDonald said hurricane barriers both in Providence and New Bedford have had significant impacts since they were built.

“Since then we haven’t had major flooding in either one of those cities,” McDonald said.

This is the exact kind of protection Kennedy is looking for in Freeport.

“Save us from a duplication of Superstorm Sandy,” he said. “Insurance rates have skyrocketed, the values of homes and businesses have plunged. I’m really looking for something to prevent this flooding in the future.”

Area leaders took note of how it would all work and how the barrier is maintained.

“What it looks like and what some of the major moving parts are,” McDonald said.

If village leaders decide to move forward with building a hurricane barrier in their area, an Army Corps of Engineers study would have to take place. According to officials, that could take up to 10 years.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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