Beach Erosion--Can it be fixed?

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Travel2Much, Jul 11, 2005.

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  1. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    What is scaring the daylights out of me about the damage this week is the fact that hurricane season has just started and the dunes are now totally unprotected, and probably weakened. If Dennis took off 7-15 feet by some reports, what will the next one do? If some houses are 1 foot from the cliff created by Dennis, what is going to happen with Elise or Fred or Ginger or whichever?

    Are there any quick fixes in a situation like this?
     
  2. RiverOtter

    RiverOtter got any pics?

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    It's Emily, actually :bang: (right now they are calling it Tropical Depressioni Five but the next name is Emily)

    [​IMG]
     
  3. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    No.
     
  4. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    :sosad: :sosad: :sosad:
     
  5. JB

    JB Beach Fanatic

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    Unfortunately, no. They are out of options (and probably out of money, uness the Fed steps in). As I have said a jillion times, I am not a fan of dredging, but it may be the only way to salvage what is left of the tourist season.

    Had there been only Ivan, then I think the beaches would have been in pretty good shape by Memorial Day 2006. Now all bets are off.

    I don't like questioning the TDC, (because they have forgotton more than I will ever know about beach restoration) but they have to be re-evaluating their decision to scrape. They have no choice now but to bring in sand (either by truck or by dredging). When you consider the length of the beach that stretches from the Okaloosa to the Bay County lines, it will be an undertaking of unprecedented proportions.

    I am on pins and needles waiting for the the first set of photos to be put up showing the beaches. It will be like a train wreck - afraid to look, but unable to look away.

    Godspeed to all.
     
  6. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    The photos will indeed be scary. One thing I learned after Ivan (though I don't know if it's going to be the same after Dennis) is that the beach area near the shoreline seems to get the white sand back very quickly (within days or weeks?) and the ocean becomes emerald green very quickly as well (within days or weeks?). The people who live in the area (I don't) can let us know. It maybe like seeing someone after a car accident in which they get very banged up. In most cases, they heal pretty quickly (at least for the parts we can see) and it can take a long time for the deeper wounds to heal. So, we'll want to remember that these will be the first of the photos a day after Dennis. We'll need to see a series of photos to get a better perspective over the coming days. I'm quite concerned about our beaches, but I figure I'll stay calm for now and will worry if necessary when the whole story is in and nature has a chance to settle down. If I then need to worry, I'll start worrying a lot (and I mean a lot because I love our beaches) then.
     
  7. Kathryn

    Kathryn Beach Comber

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    Does anyone think the county will let us put the sand fencing back up before the end of Turtle Season?

    Our fences were washed away by Arlene. We were told we could not put them back up until the fall. As you can probably tell, I love turtles, but we felt so exposed for Dennis and it seems this will be an active hurricane season. :shock:


    (Thank you to ALL for these forums. It has been so helpful!)
     
  8. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    The county had no plans to ever put up sand fencing again.
     
  9. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    CNN had some still pictures of Seagrove this am showing the damage from the start of the storm until after, by some guy named Neill who rode it out, and it was pretty, pretty bad. Kurt has another one up in the damage section, too, near Seacrest.

    From the pictures I have seen, sand fences wont be necessary--the dunes are vertical cliffs. Course, someone might want to go rock climbing...
     
  10. Kathryn

    Kathryn Beach Comber

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    Sorry for the confusion. I didn't make myself clear. We paid for and put up sand fencing in front of our home OURSELVES. We tried to put it back up again after Arlene and the county said NO, we had to wait until the Fall. Just wondering if they would lift that restriction.
     
  11. JB

    JB Beach Fanatic

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    I think it's going to be a different ballgame this time around. There will be more of a sense of urgency, and thus the effort to repair dunes/beaches will be more aggressive (and perhaps more radical). Of course, this is just speculation on my part, but I think I'm probably correct.

    People's homes have to be protected. If the foundations of homes are hanging off sand cliffs, it will have too be fixed very quickly.
     
  12. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    Yup, that photo of the beach near Seacrest is very scary to look at. But I emailed a friend of mine and she said the beaches looked like that right after Ivan as well and the water receded within a day or two, leaving a beach (albeit a very messy beach with no walkover). I went back and looked at my photos I took of the beach a few days after Ivan, and then looked at photos I took in Feb 05 and the difference was amazing. In Feb, we had white fluffy sand again (still some black peat but didn't show up in the photos). The dunes were still a mess, but if you didn't look at the dunes, you wouldn't know there had been a hurricane. And if you did look at the dunes, you'd get a pretty good look at what hurricane can do. So, that's why I'm feeling pretty patient right now and not letting the photos scare me.
     
  13. southof30A

    southof30A Beach Lover

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    The MAJOR difference is that the cliff is now much farther landward than immediately after Ivan - even farther cut back than after Opal.
     
  14. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    Sadly, I figured that was the case. I'll see it myself next week (I'm sure it won't be a pretty sight and I'm sure it will be strange to see the properties so close to the edge of the dune -- or even hanging over the dune in some cases).

    As long as we have a beach, I'll be fine, regardless of what the dunes look like. It may take a long time for the dunes to come back, but barring more hurricanes (wishful thinking), they'll come back just as they did after Opal (the dunes looked great when we bought our place in April 2003).
     
  15. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    That's what happened after Arlene, with the beach: the flat stuff. I was hopeful last week b/c Cindy really healed a lot. It was real amazing to see day by day.

    What I am concerned about is the dunes. Ivan took a swipe. In some areas Arlene took another. Now Dennis, with the protection remaining after the project gone now.

    I have always wanted to know why that brick house in Seacrest that someone reported is now 1/3 over the beach, wasn't required to be removed when it was a foot over the beach after Ivan? I have walked by there nearly every week.
     
  16. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    As long as we have a beach (and I've heard we still have a beach), I'm pretty happy (well, maybe even ecstatic). Our beach was always a small one, but didn't matter because not many people use our beach so it never seems to get crowded anyway. (Frankly, I didn't know it was considered a small beach until someone told me it was because I'm not that familiar with beaches in general). The dunes, while not pretty now, are at least very interesting to look at. And I wouldn't walk too close to the dunes (or let my kids walk close to the dunes) for safety's sake if there are houses too close to the edge. That house your talking about will be viewed with great interest from a distance. I'm sure there's a reason it wasn't fixed earlier (these things can sometimes take time and I'm sure the person didn't expect another storm so soon), but I don't know what it is. In any case, we'll try to get to a beach to enjoy and we'll stay far from the dunes and any houses/properties near the dunes.
     
  17. CoffeeBoy

    CoffeeBoy Beach Comber

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    My wife and I went down memory lane and at least in Blue Mountain Beach, looking back to 1989 or 90 there is no comparison. The dunes recovered to a degree from where they were post Opal but not near back to where they were prior.

    Our "stairs" at Sea Cliffs used to have sections of angled flat walkway. It is now a shear cliff from the front row. Based on our old photos we guess we have seen 20 feet of grass (before you ever hit the dune) plus 30-40 feet of dune plus 30-40 feet of beach disappear. Places lost 3-4 feet of "land" simply from rainfall following Ivan over the last year.

    It will recover some but it will now take massive man-power in my opinion. In fact, many of the cliffs will continue to erode at a fast clip just as they have done for the last 9 months without immediate reinforcement. I was very surprised at the lack of aggressive "force" to restore the beach after Ivan and at least at Blue Mountain, it will take immediate and significant action to save a significant number of homes. (By "save" I mean for the next 10 years).

    Maybe there is simply not much that can be done but if that is the case I am thankful to be 60 yards back. Not trying to be a downer but looking back, the dune and gradual slopes of before have been taken by Opal, Ivan, and Dennis.
     
  18. Camp Creek Kid

    Camp Creek Kid Christini Zambini

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    The owner of the house you are referring to lost his wife just before Ivan. As you can imagine, the whole situation with his house wasn't a priority.

    The front of the house was ripped off and the house is now completely exposed. It is a total loss.
     
  19. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    Thanks. I have always wanted to know the reason.
     
  20. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Sorry I misread your post.
     
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