Brevard Beach Erosion Significant From Hurricane Sandy
By Space Coast Daily // October 30, 2012
Preliminary Estimate Of $25 Million
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The storm may be gone, but it’s certainly not been forgotten.
Brevard County has declared a local state of emergency in response to Hurricane Sandy’s impact on its beaches in an effort to expedite the permitting and repair process for beachside property owners.
Permitting is anticipated to be streamlined further when the State of Florida executes an Emergency Final Order for counties damaged by Hurricane Sandy to authorize specific emergency protective measures seaward of the Coastal Construction Control Line.
Some private homes and structures have been damaged by erosion or are in immediate danger from bluff collapse. There is evidence of impact to crossovers and decks and, in some cases, the dune has retreated to only a few feet from residential foundations.
Citizens should be aware that if they have a deck or dune crossover that has been undermined, it is likely a safety hazard and not stable. If the dune has receded to within 10 feet of a home, property owners should have the home assessed for stability and to determine whether it is safe to occupy.
Finally, if a property owner wants to take immediate action by restoring the dune with beach-quality sand, the county’s Natural Resources Management Office can facilitate the permitting process and provide guidance.
The State Emergency Order is likely to delegate authority to the County to authorize debris removal from the beach and dunes, repair of the seaward end of surviving beach access structures or repair of walkovers to conform with current codes, and placement of beach-quality sand to restore damaged dunes.
To reach Brevard County Natural Resources, call 321-633-2016.
The county’s Natural Resources Management Office and Emergency Management Office are working to ensure that all damage is identified. An initial damage assessment has been completed, and those numbers have been submitted to the State, along with a request for a joint Preliminary Damage Assessment from the state and FEMA.
This is the first step in determining whether federal assistance for public infrastructure will be available as a result of Hurricane Sandy’s impacts.
Beach erosion along Brevard’s 72 miles of coast has been preliminarily estimated at $25 million. Losses from 14 miles of shoreline in the North and South Reach nourishment projects are about 18 cubic yards per foot of shoreline which will cost roughly $15 million to replace.
Along the 18 miles of Mid-Reach and the South Beaches shoreline, where Brevard County has constructed and maintained an engineered dune/beach project for the last eight years, losses averaged roughly 3 to 4 cubic yards per foot of shoreline. Rebuilding the engineered beach/dune in these areas will cost roughly $10.5 million.
The full assessment of the beach condition and actual damage is expected to take several days.
Your statement, “Along the 18 miles of Mid-Reach and the South Beaches shoreline, where Brevard County has constructed and maintained an engineered dune/beach project for the last eight years…”seems misleading. The approximate 8 mile stretch of shoreline from Patrick Air Force Base to Indialantic has received dune restoration but not beach renourishment. Had this stretch of beach (“Mid Reach”) been renourished , wouldn’t the damage to the dunes and adjoining property have been much less, as it was farther south in Indialantic and Melbourne Beach where the beach was renourished approximately two years ago? We are losing the beaches and dunes. The Corps of Engineers and Brevard County have a solution that balances beach renourishment with negative rock impact, keeping this impact to a minimum. They have had this solution since the early 2000’s, if not longer. Why has this project not moved forward in 12 years? I am a property owner along the Mid Reach stretch of beach. However, we are all – adjacent property owners, local residents, tourists, surfers, fishermen – losing our beaches. Dune restoration is certainly necessary but is only a part of the total solution.