(APP) The beating New Jersey’s dunes took from superstorm Sandy was far worse than anywhere else on the Atlantic and even surpassed what was recorded after some Gulf Coast hurricanes, according to a new report.
A week after superstorm Sandy made landfall, the U.S. Geological Survey began surveying the coastline from North Carolina to New York, gathering images and key data on how the contours and characteristics of the coastline had been altered by the hurricane.
What they found was the Shore’s dunes were pared much lower by Sandy than what the USGS observed anywhere else, and the elevation loss exceeded what they had observed on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico following hurricanes Isaac (2012) and Ike (2008).
President Barack Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force warned coastal communities last year to prepare for more storm surges.
Still, the debate continues about how to best protect life and property from floodingand property owners in some areas have been reticent to grant the government access to their land to build up these dunes.
Towns have threatened to use eminent domain, a process through which the government can compel the sale of private land when it’s in the public interest, to secure easements for a federally-funded dune replenishment program. State numbers from last week show that more than 60 easements still are outstanding on Long Beach Island and approximately 347 in northern Ocean County, from Seaside Park to Point Pleasant Beach.