Assateague Island Braces for Potential Impact of Coastal Storm - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Assateague Island Braces for Potential Impact of Coastal Storm

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

ASSATEAGUE ISLAND, Md.- In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, many of Delmarva's coastal areas are still recovering. That includes Assateague Island, where park officials say the storm impacted roads, boardwalks and even parking areas. As they continue to pick up the pieces from sandy the coastal storm now on the way has some worried about the effect on beach erosion.

Yet park officials told WBOC they are ready for whatever Mother Nature brings.

The peaceful, natural beauty of Assateague Island attracts thousands of visitors every year. That includes people like Frank Bodani of Pennsylvania, whose family has made the trip here an annual tradition.

But this year, their vacation is getting cut short.

"We were supposed to be here until Wednesday, at least, and then all of a sudden it got worse, so we decided we need to just come home today," he said

Frank hopes the island won't be hurt by the approaching storm.

"You don't want to have the place you love to come be half wiped away or be damaged at all," Bodani explained. "Or change what it's, you know, we see how beautiful it is. You don't really want it to be changed from that."

Meantime, park officials say change is all part of the process in an environment like Assateague.

"Overwash is a normal thing on a barrier island," explained Rachelle Daigneault with Assateague Island National Seashore. "We anticipate this type of overwash, and we work with it. We move parking areas. We change how we do business with the island. We try to be sustainable and to plan accordingly."

For now, some of those plans include putting parking lot projects on hold, and gearing up for possible flooding.

As for the horses, park rangers say don't worry; those ponies know the island even better than they do.

While much is still unknown about what exactly this coastal storm will mean for Delmarva, park officials said they are keeping a very close eye on the storm, as it moves closer to the peninsula.

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