By Abbey Niezgoda
A wrecking ball pounds the sand where a century old house once stood in South Kingstown. It is a scene Rhode Islanders have seen a lot more of since Hurricane Sandy ripped through the coastline.
"There was so much damage down here," Jeanne DeSimone says while looking at what is left of Roy Carpenter's Beach in Matunuck .
Her childhood home is on the third row of cottages. One month after the storm, she is still waiting to see when and if the first two rows will be moved, which would turn her parents' old home into waterfront property.
"Actually we're standing on a place where a house was just moved the other week," DeSimone said.
The million dollar questions is determining just how far Sandy pushed the beach back.
"We have to find out where the coastal feature is," Westerly Town Manager Steven Hartford said. "Of course we want them rebuild where they were, but we want to do it in a way that improves the viability of those structures for future storms."
Three homes have been razed since the storm in Westerly. Another 30 wait for a decision from the Department of Emergency Management, but through it all, they remain positive.
"It's going to change a couple of rows," DeSimone said. "But what exists here is unique in this beach community, and we are going to be okay."