Being rich and famous does not mean much to Mother Nature. Hurricane Sandy hit the Hamptons hard, destroying the Wainscott home of cosmetics baron and philanthropist Ronald Lauder, according to a report from the East Hampton Press.
In Sagaponack, Hamptons developer Jeffrey Colle said he saw “an enormous amount of erosion in the main dune,” where he nearly fell off an eight-foot drop near singer Billy Joel’s home that used to be a beach. “The road stops and you walk onto the sand usually, and, well, now the road stops and it’s just eight feet down,” Colle said.
Joel’s home, near Gibson Road per published reports, has a current asking price of $16.75 million, according to real estate Web site Zillow.com.
On November 2, Joel performed in a one-hour telethon and benefit concert for victims of Hurricane Sandy that was broadcast on NBC. He was joined by fellow musicians Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi, both New Jersey natives whose state was left devastated by damage from the storm.
“By far it is the most devastating storm we’ve had on Long Island,” said Mark Gross, director of the Long Island Power Authority. “Right now, we’re in the assessing stage but, obviously, with this many outages customers should be prepared to hang on for an extended period of time.”
In Sag Harbor, a village of 2,000 people on Long Island’s East End, about half of the residents lost power. Temple Adas Israel, on top of a hill in the village, opened its doors all week for people to come use their power and the Internet connection.
Some 20 miles east, the storm surge breached the dunes over onto Napeague, the long, thin stretch of land that separates Montauk from Amagansett – leaving many in Montauk to wonder if they would be stranded at the very eastern tip of Long Island. “This is not like anything we’ve seen before,” said Carl Darenberg, owner of the Montauk Marine Basin. “That kind of surge – that’s not like anything we’ve seen before.”
Forbes lists Lauder, 67, among the richest people in the world with an estimated net worth of $3.3 billion in 2011. In 1987, Lauder established the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, a philanthropic organization that is dedicated to rebuilding Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe. The foundation also supports student exchange programs between New York and various capitals in Central and Eastern Europe.
Joel, 63, is the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. His primary residence is a mansion in Centre Island, a village located within the town of Oyster Bay in Nassau County.