Beach Erosion After Hurricane Dorian
BETHANY BEACH, Del.- Hurricane Dorian's slight impact on Delmarva is evident in Bethany Beach, with the "Quiet Resort" experiencing some beach erosion.
"We had off Thursday and Friday because we had to move all of the boxes off of the beach and there was really no beach left for us to work on," says Caroline Bole with Steen's Beach Service. "Friday I actually came out here and watched the storm and it was insane--the water was coming up the dune crossing."
A bit of dune fencing was damaged during Dorian, and while the beach is much narrower now, Mayor Lew Killmer says the dunes did as they were designed to do. Killmer says this time of year the beach will naturally widen again, and the town has a fund in place in case a storm turns destructive.
"One of the things living here by an ocean you have to--basically as much as one can--plan," he says. "It could be here one day. That's one of the things we try to as much as a person can, plan on in the event of something like that."
Mike Powell, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's director of shoreline and waterway management, says the First State's beaches fared well during Dorian, but the North Indian River Inlet and the bay beaches like Kitts Hummock are the biggest concerns.
"We did try and move sand into areas at the North Inlet where the dunes were vulnerable," explains Powell. "We also scraped sand from parts of the beach north of the Indian River Inlet and deposited it at the very north end. The beach actually looks better than it could have."
Powell says the upcoming dredging of Massey's Ditch will also provide more sand that will be fed to the inlet area and help widen it.
Other beach widening is set to come to Sussex County as well; on Tuesday the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is opening up bids for Rehoboth and Dewey's beach replenishment. The project will bring 409,000 cubic yards of sand with an option for another 100,000. A spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says beach nourishment is expected to begin either late 2019 or early 2020.