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New York (AFP) May 24, 2013
Seven months after deadly superstorm Sandy devastated the coastline of New Jersey and parts of New York, all New York City beaches opened Friday at the start of the three-day Memorial Day weekend.
New York City has eight public beaches along 14 miles (23 kilometers) of coastline -- Brooklyn (southeast), Bronx (north), Queens (northeast) and Staten Island (south).
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday that the city spent $370 million removing debris, cleaning and replacing tons of sand, and rebuilding stretches of boardwalk to get the beaches ready for the summer.
City workers, along with volunteers, removed some 430,000 tons of debris, while the Army Corps of Engineers and city contractors cleaned more than 200,000 cubic yards (153,000 cubic meters) of beach sand.
The Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer in the United States.
The beach reopening, however, is more symbolic than anything, since low temperatures forecast over the weekend are likely to keep most bathers away from the waves.
Forty-three people were killed in New York City when Sandy slammed the region on October 29. Thousands evacuated, and more than one million people were left without power for days.
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