NJ releases beach erosion assessment from weekend storm
Four days after the end of a massive winter storm, New Jersey officials have released an initial assessment of how the state's beaches fared over the weekend.
The survey from the Department of Environmental Protection, released Thursday afternoon, looked at 66 municipalities and beach areas. Major beach or dune erosion was seen at 19 locations. Erosion was minor or moderate everywhere else.
"The worst erosion of the storm occurred in primarily Long Beach Island south, and that was due to the track of the storm," said William Dixon, manager of the Bureau of Coastal Engineering.
However, Dixon said, major erosion does not correlate to devastation. The rough surf cut into engineered dunes that, for the most part, held up and protected inland homes and infrastructure as they were designed to do.
The report cited major beach or dune erosion in Bay Head, Mantoloking, Brick, Normandy Beach, Lavallette, Ortley Beach, Loveladies, Harvey Cedars, North Beach, Surf City, Brant Beach, Beach Haven, Holgate, Atlantic City, Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Avalon, Stone Harbor and North Wildwood.
Some spots along the shore, immediately following the nor'easter, began the process of dumping more sand onto their beaches. The latest hit made them much more vulnerable in the case of another strong storm.
"Sand will slowly move back on to the beaches," Dixon noted. "It's not completely lost; it's just redistributed."
According to the assessment, wind gusts of nearly 60 miles per hour created seas as high as 27 feet, developing surf ranging from 6 to 15 feet with greater heights around jetties, inlets and piers.