|Photo by Gretchen Coyle|
Storm surges eroded the sand up to
the dunes at the Essex Avenue beach.
While Tropical Storm Hermine fortunately didn’t hit Long Beach Island with severely devastating conditions as initially predicted by some weather forecasters, Beach Haven’s recently replenished beaches were impacted by the strong storm surges.
“All the beaches had a good bit of erosion. Maybe about a quarter to an eighth of what they put down was taken back,” said Beach Haven Police Sgt. Tom Medel.
The replenishment work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and state Department of Environmental Protection’s post-Superstorm Sandy project was conducted in Beach Haven by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. this past May and June.
The borough’s Essex Avenue beach was the most harshly affected by Hermine, with erosion all the way up to the dune fencing. On Monday the local police department closed off the beach entrance due to a 2-foot drop-off.
“We were afraid that somebody was just going to not see it in the dark or low lighting and possibly hurt themselves,” Medel said.
Although street flooding can also be an issue in town during storms, the borough experienced only very minor flooding.
“We got lucky that way,” Medel stated.
If the storm had created a major issue for the town, local emergency personnel were ready for action.
“We dodged a bullet, but we were prepared,” said Jim White, borough council president.
White, along with Bill Tromm, head of Beach Haven’s Emergency Operations Center, attended a briefing on the storm at the Ocean County Sheriff's Department Office of Emergency Management in Berkeley Township Sunday night. The meeting, led by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and DEP Commissioner Bob Martin, was held so state and local officials could discuss the different commodities that were available if necessary.
— Kelley Anne Essinger
This article was published in The SandPaper.