Hermine pounded Pinellas beaches; erosion worse than from TS Debby
The pounding that Hurricane Hermine’s waves delivered to Pinellas County’s beaches this week may result in the worst beach erosion this decade.
The Tampa Bay Times reports Andy Squires, head of the county’s coastal zone management office, said he’s expecting it to be greater than the damage done by Tropical Storm Debby in 2012.
“We’re expecting it to be greater than the damage done by Tropical Storm Debby in 2012,” Andy Squires, head of the county’s coastal zone management office.
The storm has made tides about a foot higher than normal, which makes it difficult to assess the damage accurately. Once that subsides, a University of South Florida team will survey how much sand the beaches lost.
On Sunset Beach and Pass-a-Grille, waves were washing over the dunes, said Hilary Stockdon of the U.S. Geological Survey office in St. Petersburg, lead author of a study on erosion of Florida’s beaches. On Indian Shores, water was pushing through a low area between the condominiums.
“The waves and the surge were chewing away at the dunes,” Stockdon said. “The dunes take longer to recover than the beaches themselves.”
And Squires said he received reports of waves topping seawalls in Belleair Beach. At the north end of Redington Beach, the water sloshed right up to the seawall, he said, and Fort De Soto’s North Beach was “hit pretty bad – the water was well into the trees.”