Cleanup Underway in Rehoboth Beach After Last Month's Storm
A dozer was pushing sand across the beach on Tuesday morning (Source: WBOC)
The boardwalk by Maryland Avenue has no dune at all, leaving it vulnerable (Source: WBOC)
Large puddles of water were seen on the beach. Much of this was covered up by the dozers pushing sand on Tuesday (Source: WBOC)
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.- The cleanup process is well underway in Rehoboth Beach just under two weeks after a winter storm caused major flooding and erosion to the area.
"It pretty much tore everything out that we had," said Jason Corns, who was operating a dozer through the sand Tuesday morning. "And we're here just to put a little back at a time as it comes in."
Corns was pushing sand from the edge of the dry beach to the dunes, over a layer of water. According to Tony Pratt, from the Delawsare Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, this process is meant to reinforce the dunes, in order to protect the boardwalk from future storms.
"We want to have what's called frictional resistance," he said. "We want to have sand in place so that when the next storm occurs, we're not hitting against that vertical face of the dune that was left behind. If we have a slope, there's more of a chance for waves to run up and run back down without hitting that base, and having further collapse of the dune."
Pratt said that mother nature does most of the work, bringing sand back to the dry beach, from the sandbar. However, he said that the dozers can give the process a push.
"The natural processes are over weeks or months," he said. "And we can do it over a matter of two or three days."
As for the damage from last week's storm, Pratt said that it is still unclear just how much permanent sand loss there really was. That's because much of the sand is still in the sandbar, he said. Most of that sand would likely return to the beach over the next few months, according to Pratt.
As for concerns over losing the sand, so soon after the replenishment, Pratt said that the investment is still worthwhile.
"It does cost us tens of millions of dollars to rebuild these beaches," he said. "But the economy along here is hundreds of millions of dollars a year."