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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sandy hits beach hard

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI.org News staff
Rhode Island state beaches from Middletown to Westerly were battered by Hurricane Sandy. 
Beach pavilions, playgrounds and solar panels all sustained storm damage. But the loss of sand was, by far, the biggest setback.

"Years and a century's worth of sand is just gone,” said Robert Paquette, chief of the state Division of Parks & Recreation.
Sand dunes, most of them covered in beach grass, were blasted apart and washed inland by the storm surge.

Paquette said the sand lost at beaches during storms is usually replenished within a few days, but so far, the sand has not returned. “Instead of going out to sea, (the sand) went on to land," he said.

According to Paquette, the cost of damage and plans to rebuild are still being assessed. “We have to do something; we’re missing a lot,” he said.
For more information, visit the state Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Sandy webpage.