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Photo Gallery: Post-Storm Beach Erosion

See how your beach fared after Sandy and a mid-week nor'easter.

A tour of Ocean City's beaches after Hurricane Sandy and a second coastal storm that arrived a week later shows a vastly different landscape than the one that existed just a few weeks earlier.

Protective sand dunes have been wiped out across the length of the island — sacrificed in defense of the barrier island against a record storm surge.

But on a mild Thursday in November after the storms passed, much beach and some dune systems remain.

The only area impassable to somebody walking the length of Ocean City's beaches is at Waverly Beach on the north end, where Sandy flattened dunes and exposed buried geotubes. But the sand-filled synthetic tubes appear to have served their purpose — and continue to do so — in holding back the ocean.

The wide and healthy dune system roughly between 18th and 40th streets was the star of the storm. A tour of that area shows clear evidence that the ocean never reached the streets — though the dunes are now much narrower in many areas.

At the south end, where beaches already were severely eroded, dunes are gone —washed into the streets. But some beach remains.

For a quick tour of Ocean City beaches from north to south, view the photo gallery above.

City crews and outside contractors have been working to create temporary sand berms to hold back the ocean, and a beach replenishment for the north-end and downtown beaches is approved for this winter.

City Council in August unanimously approved borrowing $617,500 to help fund its portion of an anticipated project that would pump sand to widen Ocean City's beaches before next summer.

Ocean City was first approved for an ongoing federal Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment program in the 1990s. The 50-year agreement calls for maintenance dredging every three years (contingent on the approval of federal funding).

The new project would restore Ocean City beaches from the northernmost jetty near Seaspray Road to an area between 14th and 17th streets. The project would restore those beaches to their original profile — including those at Waverly Beach and Fifth Street Beach that have seen severe erosion.

The beach replenishment program is seen as vital to the economy of Ocean City and other shore towns that rely on summer visitors to thrive.

Ocean City is responsible to fund 8.75 percent of the anticipated $10 million project, with the remainder funded by the Army Corps and state Department of Environmental Protection. Some local funding had already been approved as part of Ocean City's capital improvement plan.

Business Administrator Mike Dattilo said Thursday that the Army Corps hopes to have a contract approved by Sept. 14. The work would be done in conjunction with a project in nearby Brigantine.

The Brigantine portion of the project would be completed first, making the Ocean City work likely to happen in late winter or early spring in 2013.

John Speak November 09, 2012 at 12:33 AM
What will be done to the south end beach? I'm between 57th and 58th.
Glenn Murphy November 09, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Valiant work by all involved.
wjs November 09, 2012 at 01:51 AM
what about the south end beaches? we have NO beach. we have been telling the city this for over 2 years. this summer, we sat ON the dunes during many high tides. what does it take???
Eric Sauder November 09, 2012 at 03:12 AM
I haven't been down there since the week of the storm. I know on the north end they created sand berms from sand that was removed from the streets. Didn't they do that on the south end? I know you're concerned with how shallow your beach is but I hope they at least mounded sand there? In answer to your question I recall that Dattilo stated at a council meeting that beach replenishment on the south end is years away. Wherever it was done in the past there's a maintenance schedule to revisit those beaches at intervals which doesn't help all that much if your beach wasn't done in the first place. As a temporary fix I heard that they were trucking sand from some of the deeper beaches (mine for example) to the south end. So my neighborhood will probably be the next to flood. And the inlet needs to be dredged. If they can use that sand they could kill two birds with one stone.
Eric Sauder November 09, 2012 at 03:18 AM
See below.
John Speak November 09, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Don't say kill two birds, the Eco natzis will step in
Steve Glaspey November 09, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Thinking about the creation of a new municipal entity: South Ocean City. Then we can fight for equal beach restoration . On the mean time we can create an escrow account and withhold a portion of our property taxes. We have a great resource available to us - plenty of retired folks, like me, with lots of time on our hands.
George November 09, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Sorry if this has been posted already, but where is the Whale that was burried on the north end?
CTA November 09, 2012 at 10:42 PM
South end was pumped as part of island wide project in 1995. Before that, you could walk down steps at high tide and step into water. Rocks from post-62 repair were visible from the 40's to 57th street. Current newbies in south end need to do research.....(sorry, long week).....
Karen Condit November 09, 2012 at 11:23 PM
What is happening to the tons of sand that was being dumped at 59th street? We were hoping that it would be sifted and then placed back on the beach. Too much debris in it to place back without cleaning it.
Doris Helveston November 10, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Is the pavilion still standing at the end of 58th street?
Steve Glaspey November 10, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Newbies, I guess that my perspective of the last 65 years fails to capture the history of OC beach erosion. I was here on March 6th 1962 and have first hand experience. The issue here is fairly simple - we expect all areas of the island to be treated equally. Yes I am new to the south end but not new to Ocean City.
Eric Sauder November 10, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Yes.
Gary November 10, 2012 at 01:45 AM
I don't think you can put the sand back once it has become "polluted" in the streets. So putting it back on the beach is out. In the south end, 4th ward, we pay much of the tax to the city. As taxpayers, we need to demand equal treatment to those in the north end (you know, the "insiders" the people the mayor acually listens to.) We need to demand that we have some beach replenishment for our tax dollars. Now who will stand up?
Gary November 10, 2012 at 01:51 AM
I don't think they can used dredged sand for the beach - pollution issues.
Pat November 10, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Absolutely! The Southend is desparately in need of beach replenishment and my calls to the powers that be before the storm were unheeded. I hope we will get the attention of the city, etc. now. Our taxes here are a huge proportion of the city budget but most Southenders can't vote here. Pat
Eric Sauder November 10, 2012 at 02:59 AM
You're probably right about dredged sand ... that's why we have spoils sites. But I do believe sand that was on the streets was mounded on the beaches on the north end. If not where did it come from? I believe they have to sift thru it first. That's not to say that the City consulted with the EPA.. If you follow these things you can't help but notice that there's a pattern of acting without consulting regulatory agencies here.
wjs November 11, 2012 at 01:59 AM
This Thursday nigh. OC City Counil meeting. Many of us plan on being there. Get the word out to Southenders. It is time we are heard.
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