Golf Course Management

DEC 2012

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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gcm extra Long Island, N.Y., ... was a victim of Sandy's fury, with widespread tree damage and massive flooding paralyzing the area even weeks after the storm. member visits. I would see hard-hit courses whose superintendents considered themselves lucky. I would visit courses to see sheer devastation and hear stories of unspeakable personal loss. I wanted to reach out to my region to be sure everyone was safe, that their staff members were unharmed. To let them know that their association cares, as do their colleagues across the country. To get information to the industry, to let them know how the facilities survived the storm and how their personal world has changed. Uprooted, under water One of the hardest-hit areas is also among the most condensed areas for golf courses in the nation: Long Island, N.Y. The largely unprotected island was a victim of Sandy's fury, with wide- spread tree damage and massive flooding paralyzing the area even weeks after the storm. Our members and their facilities were no exception. My first stop was Inwood Country Club, located on the southwestern tip of Long Island, tucked between Rockaway Beach and John F. Kennedy Airport. Kevin Stanya, the GCSAA Class A su- perintendent at Inwood and a 16-year association member, had described the devastation to me in a phone conversation, but I was still not prepared for what I was to see and hear. The maintenance facility was flooded by just under 5 feet of ocean water. All of his equipment was completely ruined. The office building that also housed staff quarters was completely flooded. Hurricane Irene in late August 2011 brought about 6 inches of water into the shop, so this time the staff filled the utility vehicle beds with all the items that would fit. They thought 3 to 4 feet off the ground should be more than safe; it was not even close. The devastation on the course matches that of the shop area: trees uprooted, debris from as far away as 1 to 2 miles left behind, and saltwater covering the entire course. Staff had been seasonally adjusted, with many foreign workers paying extra to advance their flights to days or even hours before Sandy came ashore. That is just the situation at the course. Stanya and his fiancée were forced to evacuate their home in Long Beach, N.Y., as flooding was beginning to overtake that area. They placed as many of their belongings as high up as they could, only to find the water level nearly reached the ceiling of their one-story home. "We left the attic stairs open for my three cats, and don't you know, that's where we found them when we came back — in the attic. They are so traumatized they won't even come close to us," says Stanya. "The water flooded the homes around the course too; six blocks away got water damage." He is staying at his mother's home, wearing clothes that were still stored there from years ago. Stanya credits Storr Tractor for bringing some equipment to him to use. "We haven't really begun the cleanup. I've been in a funk personally, and the insurance needed to be brought in before any- 62 GCM December 2012

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