Study: Sandy caused severe erosion on Fire Island - FOX 13 News

Superstorm Sandy

Study: Sandy caused severe erosion on Fire Island

Posted: Updated:
A) Leveled beaches, dunes ; B) damaged homes in Davis Park; C) leveled dunes, overwash sheets by the lighthouse; D) breach at Old Inlet. (Photos via USGS) A) Leveled beaches, dunes ; B) damaged homes in Davis Park; C) leveled dunes, overwash sheets by the lighthouse; D) breach at Old Inlet. (Photos via USGS)

A new U.S. Geological Survey study shows more than half of Fire Island's beaches and sand dunes were lost during Superstorm Sandy.

In a study released Tuesday, the agency said the beaches and dunes lost 54.4 percent of their pre-storm volume, and the dunes were washed over along 46.6 percent of the island. One geologist said the loss of shoreline has changed the island's shape.

"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 storm slammed the island very hard, leaving it much more vulnerable to winter storms.

The majority of the island is part of Fire Island National Seashore, managed by the National Park Service. The western end is part of Robert Moses State Park, while the eastern end is a county park.

Besides the barrier island's recreational and economic importance, it is a vital first line of defense for the south shore of Long Island as well as a sanctuary to numerous species of wildlife.

Most of the lost sand was carried offshore by waves and storm surge, USGS said.

"Overall, Hurricane Sandy profoundly impacted the morphology of Fire Island and resulted in an extremely low elevation, low relief configuration that has left the barrier island vulnerable to future storms," the report's abstract reads. "The coastal system subsequently began to show signs of recovery, and although the beach is likely to experience continued recovery in the form of volume gains, the dunes will take years to rebuild."

The Associated Press/WNYW

  • Long Island NewsLong Island NewsMore>>

  • New York Islanders to be sold

    New York Islanders to be sold

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 2:54 PM EDT2014-08-19 18:54:30 GMT
    The New York Islanders have announced that the team is being sold to a former Washington Capitals co-owner and a London-based investor. In a statement Tuesday, the team says a group led by former Capitals co-owner Jon Ledecky and investor Scott Malkin has reached an agreement to buy a "substantial" minority interest in the team.
    The New York Islanders have announced that the team is being sold to a former Washington Capitals co-owner and a London-based investor. In a statement Tuesday, the team says a group led by former Capitals co-owner Jon Ledecky and investor Scott Malkin has reached an agreement to buy a "substantial" minority interest in the team.
  • Cuomo asks feds to review LI flood damage

    Cuomo asks feds to review LI flood damage

    Monday, August 18 2014 5:11 PM EDT2014-08-18 21:11:56 GMT
    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he is asking for a federal assessment of the flood damage in Suffolk County to see if property owners are eligible for disaster loans and other aid. The Town of Islip had 13.5 inches of rain on August 13, a one-day record. The record-breaking rainfall damaged an estimated 400 Long Island homes. Moffit Boulevard was one of hardest hit streets in Islip.
    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he is asking for a federal assessment of the flood damage in Suffolk County to see if property owners are eligible for disaster loans and other aid. The Town of Islip had 13.5 inches of rain on August 13, a one-day record. The record-breaking rainfall damaged an estimated 400 Long Island homes. Moffit Boulevard was one of hardest hit streets in Islip.
  • Gov. Christie dances on stage at Hamptons party

    Gov. Christie dances on stage at Hamptons party

    Monday, August 18 2014 1:36 PM EDT2014-08-18 17:36:21 GMT
    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie busted out his best dance moves at a party in the Hamptons.  Christie was seen at the Apollo benefit at Ronald Perelman's East Hampton estate over the weekend.  The governor, who was a guest of Jon Bon Jovi, was egged on by Oscar winner Jamie Foxx as he gyrated his hips in front of the crowd.
    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie busted out his best dance moves at a party in the Hamptons.  Christie was seen at the Apollo benefit at Ronald Perelman's East Hampton estate over the weekend.  The governor, who was a guest of Jon Bon Jovi, was egged on by Oscar winner Jamie Foxx as he gyrated his hips in front of the crowd.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices