It was a joyful day at Misquamicut this morning, when hundreds came together for Hands Along the Sand. Barbara Cardiff of the Westerly Chamber of Commerce explains, "this is a grand celebration it's a chance to say thank you to ourselves, to our community and acknowledge the solidarity with which we've approached this disaster."
When Sandy ripped through Westerly about seven months ago, it caused about 14 million dollars in damage. Many thought having the beach ready by Memorial Day was a long shot. One participant this morning said, "not this year, I knew people would come together and people would do things to restore the beach its westerly most prized possession and I'm really happy to see it restored like it is."
With music playing, the group joined hands and walked towards the water, all in celebration of the months of hard work put in to restore the beach. Erin Kelly who volunteered her time says, "everything from shoveling sand lifting cinder blocks out of the building sweeping anything you can think of we did." And Dan Alvino, a Westerly resident goes on, "it's the focal point of the community, no question about it, it makes me feel great, really wonderful, the support that the community has generated is extraordinary."
To commemorate the event, a plane flew overhead with a sign reading "Misquamicut Beach Back & Better than Ever!"
Cardiff says, "It's the little engine that could we pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and we are open it's absolutely a great moment to congratulate ourselves for this."
The beach actually opened on Saturdays and Sundays last weekend but come Memorial Day it will be open on a daily basis.