A late spring storm closed some Jersey beaches – Daily Local

Wayne Perry

NORTH WILDWOOD, New Jersey (AP) – Erosion due to a spring storm will not allow some beaches on the Jersey coast to be ready for visitors on Remembrance Day weekend, but overall the coast has spent the winter in good condition.

Scientists and local officials in some coastal cities say the storm earlier this month caused erosion that could not be repaired in time for the crowd on Remembrance Day weekend, but noted that the vast majority of Jersey Shore beaches would be ready for a holiday.

Coastal towns, including North Wildwood and the Toms River, are among the places where at least some beaches will not be open until the unofficial start of the summer tourist season.

“Overall, the state’s beaches are in good condition,” said John Miller, a coastal technology expert at the Stevens Institute of Technology. “There were some areas where we knew we needed more sand.”

The worst culprit was the so-called “Mother’s Day storm” in early May, when the storm lasted for many tidal cycles and ate pieces of beaches in many coastal cities. Even in cities that had wide beaches before the storm, erosion occurred, but some withstood the assault better than others.

“Critically narrow areas have received some dune damage,” said Stuart Farrell, director of the Stockton University Coastal Research Center. “There were no disturbances I know of, but it was the worst event of the winter so far because of the duration of the northeast winds of at least four tides.”

Nowhere is the damage from the early May storm as visible as in North Wildwood. This delayed the city for at least two weeks in its annual efforts to transport tons of sand from a wide beach in nearby Wildwood and dump it on relatively narrow beaches in northern North Wildwood.

“We came across Nor’Easter, which took away a good piece of sand that we had accumulated,” said North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenella. “It brought us back.”

On Tuesday, a veritable armada of dump trucks raced back and forth between the northern beaches of North Wildwood and the wider beach of Wildwood, where they loaded sand and dumped it onto an eroded beach. Trucks came and dumped sand every two minutes, and a bulldozer spread it near the water.

The exact number of beaches that will not be ready for the holiday weekend remains in progress, but a report on the city’s website says the closure could range from 2nd to 20th streets. North Wildwood expects they will all be open by mid-June, the mayor said.

About a quarter of the beaches of the Toms River in its part of Ortley Beach will not be ready for Remembrance Day due to severe erosion, said Maurice Maurice “Mo” Hill. Ortley Beach is a common erosion problem during storms and was one of the hardest-hit places on the entire Jersey coast during Sandy’s 2012 superstorm.

Toms River estimates to spend $ 200,000 to $ 250,000 on sand to accommodate on the beaches of Ortley this year.

“It will be difficult this summer,” Hill said, adding that he hopes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will do an additional project to replenish the beach later this year or in 2023.

Stone Harbor has also been eroded, but the area is working to replace lost sand before the holiday weekend arrives. On Wednesday, officials did not respond to numerous requests for status updates.

Bay Head, which has also undergone erosion that has left a sandy slope at some entry points at a 45-degree angle, probably wouldn’t have been able to open all of its beaches if it had decided to start staffing them for Remembrance Day weekend. But Bay Head beaches are not officially open until June 18, and by then they should be in good shape, Mayor William Curtis said.

Other erosions have occurred to varying degrees in Ocean City, Avalon, Harvey Cedars, Brigantine and in the Upper Town Strathmere section.


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