Category Archives: Sandy Storm

Overcoming Barriers

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Dune Rythms. Captions and Photo source: ©© Light2Shine

Excerpts;

A year ago, Hurricane Sandy swept away skepticism about the use of sand dunes. But those big, protective mounds are no excuse for complacency.

Before Hurricane Sandy tore up the Atlantic Coast one year ago next week, most people living in beach houses along the New Jersey shore didn’t give too much thought to the sandy humps that stood between their homes and the ocean…

Read Full Article, by David Gessner, Onearth

The Dune Wars, David Gessner Blogshot
Governor Chris Christie wants to line the state’s shores with dunes, as if Jersey were some sort of medieval castle. But if it’s any kind of castle, it should be pointed out, it’s a sand castle. And that, says Orrin Pilkey, is the chief problem with dunes…

Sandy: A Warning Rising Seas Threaten Nuclear Plants

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Indian Point Nuclear Generating, Units 2 and 3. Photo source: ©© NRCgov

Excerpts;

As Hurricane Sandy barreled ashore a year ago, the storm forced the shutdown of several Northeast coastal nuclear power reactors.

No nuclear power plant in Sandy’s path was in imminent danger of a meltdown, but the force and size of the storm surge served as a warning that rising seas and higher storm surges, driven in part by climate change, could eventually have a devastating effect on the seven low-lying nuclear power generating sites on the Northeast Coast in future hurricanes…

Read Full Article, Climate Central

After Hurricane Sandy, One Man Tries To Stop The Reconstruction

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Photo source: ©Jeremy M. Lange

Excerpts;

Geologist Orrin Pilkey predicted exactly what a storm like Sandy would do to the mid-Atlantic coast and New York City. On a tour of destruction after the deluge, he and David Gessner ponder a troubling question: Why are people rebuilding, as if all this isn’t going to happen again?

“The Prophet and I returned to the drowned city. Trailing robes behind him, he will point his wooden staff at the places where the waters rose, the subway steps turned into rapids, and the cross streets became fast-flowing inlets. He’ll gesture toward the river, explaining how it was pushed back by the winds and tide, how the full moon affected this most modern of places. Four years ago, when he pointed at these same spots and told me what was going to happen to New York City, I only half believed him. Now I believe, along with everyone else. We have seen it with our own eyes…”

Read Full Article, Outside Magazine, November 2013 Issue

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Aerial pictures of North Carolina’s coast, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

The Most Striking Visualizations To Date of Hurricane Sandy, revealed

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In this 3-D map of potential temperature, relatively cool air wraps around Sandy’s core near the surface (purple and blue colors), while air parcels gain heat from moisture condensing into clouds and precipitation as they ascend through the storm’s core. Captions and Image: © UCAR. Image courtesy Mel Shapiro, NCAR.

Excerpts;

Scientists have recently developed awe-inspiring visualizations of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated parts of the U.S. East Coast last year. The visualizations, created using state-of-the-art computer models at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), provide some of the most detailed looks at any hurricane to date…

View Original Images and Learn More: © UCAR /NCAR

New Views Of Sandy: High-resolution models shed light on 2012 disaster, NCAR / UCAR

Read Full Article, Climate Central

After the Storms, a Different Opinion On Climate Change

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Seaside Heights and Seaside Park, NJ. Aerial pictures of New Jersey’s coast, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

Excerpts;

Extreme weather may lead people to think more seriously about climate change, according to new research. In the wake of Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, New Jersey residents were more likely to show support for a politician running on a “green” platform, and expressed a greater belief that climate change is caused by human activity…

This research, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that traumatic weather events may have the power to shift people’s automatic attitudes, their first instincts, in favor of environmentally sustainable policies.

Though scientists are in near-unilateral agreement that human activity contributes to climate change, the relationship isn’t as clear to many politicians and citizens. This translates into lackluster support for environmental policies, especially when the short-term consequences amount to higher taxes…

Read Full Article, Science Daily

Trying to Shame Dune Holdouts at Jersey Shore

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Surf City, NJ. Photo source: ©© Michael Napoleon

Excerpts;

Some oceanfront properties owners have refused to grant easements to allow the federal government to build a massive dune along a 50-mile stretch of the Jersey Shore. Without the protective ridge of sand, engineers predict it is only a matter of time before homes, neighborhoods, even entire communities are wiped out by rising seas.

Read Full Article, The New York Times

From Coast To Coast, Vanity Fair
At opposite ends of the country, two of America’s most golden coastal enclaves are waging the same desperate battle against erosion…

North Carolina: The Beaches Are Moving
World famous coastal geologist Orrin H. Pilkey takes us to the beach and explains why erosion has become a problem….

The Beach Builders, Can the Jersey Shore be saved?

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Seaside Heights and Seaside Park, NJ. Aerial pictures of New Jersey’s coast, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU
Excerpts;

New Yorker staff writer John Seabrook discusses the effort to protect New Jersey’s beaches in an age of superstorms like last year’s Hurricane Sandy…

Read Full Article, The New Yorker

Hurricane Sandy Eroded Half of Fire Island’s Beaches and Dunes: New Report Quantifies Coastal Change

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Fire island, NY. Aerial pictures of Fire island, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

By USGS,

Beaches and dunes on Fire Island, New York, lost more than half of their pre-storm volume during Hurricane Sandy, leaving the area more vulnerable to future storms.

While the damage and destruction on Fire Island was immediately evident after the storm, a new U.S. Geological Survey study released today is the first to quantify the actual changes to the coast caused by the storm.

“The beaches and dunes of the island were severely eroded during Sandy,” said Cheryl Hapke, a USGS research geologist and lead author of the study. “The island was breached in three locations, and there was widespread damage and destruction of coastal infrastructure, including private residences. The report shows that the beaches and dunes lost 54.4 percent of their pre-storm volume, and the dunes experienced overwash along 46.6 percent of the island, dramatically changing the island’s shape.”

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Fire island, NY. Aerial pictures of Fire island, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

Field surveys conducted immediately after Sandy documented low, flat beaches and extensive dune erosion. Assessment of overwash deposits — the material that was carried to the interior of the island — indicates that most of the sand lost from the beaches and dunes during Hurricane Sandy was moved offshore, carried by waves and storm surge. Of the volume of sand that was lost from the beaches and dunes, 14 percent was deposited inland.

“The impact from Sandy was unprecedented in recent times,” said Hapke. “It is important that efforts to rebuild on the island be guided by the science, which shows that Sandy profoundly altered the shape and position of the barrier island, shifting it landward and redistributing large amounts of sand. Storms like Sandy are part of the natural evolution of barrier islands, which ultimately result in islands that are more resilient to sea level rise.”

The extreme erosion of the beach and loss of dunes made the island more vulnerable to subsequent winter storms. In the course of the following winter months, the shoreline position shifted as much as 57.5 meters (189 feet) inland. Although several areas begin to experience some recovery in the early spring, at the end of the survey period only a small fraction, 18 percent, of the pre-Sandy beach volume had returned.

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Fire island, NY. Aerial pictures of Fire island, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

“Barrier islands provide natural protection against storms, shielding coastlines from rising waves and tides,” said Hapke. “The loss of so much sand increases the vulnerability of this area of coastline to future storms.”

Fire Island is the longest of the barrier islands that lie along the south shore of Long Island, New York. The majority of the island is part of Fire Island National Seashore and not only provides the first line of defense against storms, but is a unique and important recreational and ecosystem resource. USGS research on Fire Island focuses understanding the evolution of the form and structure of the barrier system on a variety of time scales, including storm driven change in the region.

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Fire island, NY. Aerial pictures of Fire island, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

Original Article, USGS

Task Force: More And Worse Floods Are Coming, So Prepare

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Mantoloking, NJ. Aerial pictures of New Jersey’s coast, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

Excerpts;

A presidential task force charged with developing a strategy for rebuilding areas damaged by Superstorm Sandy has issued a report recommending 69 policy initiatives, most focused on a simple warning: Plan for future storms in an age of climate change and rising sea levels…

Read Full Article, Huffington Post / AP

Sandy Taskforce: Build Stronger Homes To Withstand Worsening Storms, Guardian UK

Shoring Up the Nation’s Crumbling Coastlines (Uploaded 01-27-2013)
Hurricane Sandy pummeled the beaches of the Northeast, stripping away sand and dunes, and ploughing through seawalls. Can beaches be rebuilt to face fiercer storms and rising seas? And is there even enough sand to do it? Ira Flatow and guests discuss engineering the nation’s coasts for “the new normal.”

Sandy Reminds Us of Coastal Hazards, By Dr. Robert S. Young

We Need to Retreat From the Beach, An Op Ed by Orrin H. Pilkey
As ocean waters warm, the Northeast is likely to face more Sandy-like storms. And as sea levels continue to rise, the surges of these future storms will be higher and even more deadly. We can’t stop these powerful storms. But we can reduce the deaths and damage they cause…