Perhaps no picture better than the above can give you an idea of the frailty of the barrier beaches along the coast of New Jersey or Long Island. In Dutchess County we have been very lucky, no major flooding trees down or destruction from the storm. Having said that there are still communities without electricity, Pawling for one, but Beekman the town just South of us got their power back on yesterday and people are generally surviving. Fire Island is another story. Many ocean front houses were destroyed, the protective dunes are now virtually non existent and a less severe storm is predicted for next week.
The below link will give you some idea of the destructive nature of the storm which hit at high tide and a full moon.