Study: Sandy caused severe erosion on Fire Island - FOX 35 News Orlando

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>>

  • Accused Long Island cop killer found guilty

    Accused Long Island cop killer found guilty

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:49 PM EDT2014-07-28 16:49:08 GMT
    An ex-convict suspected of gunning down a Nassau County police officer and then fatally shooting a carjacking victim was found guilty on all counts in the murders on Monday. Darrell Fuller, 33, shot and killed Police Officer Arthur Lopez in October 2012 who suspected he had been involved in a hit-and-run car accident. Authorities said Fuller then fled that shooting and killed the second victim, Raymond Facey of Queens, while stealing his vehicle.
    An ex-convict suspected of gunning down a Nassau County police officer and then fatally shooting a carjacking victim was found guilty on all counts in the murders on Monday. Darrell Fuller, 34, shot and killed Police Officer Arthur Lopez in October 2012 who suspected he had been involved in a hit-and-run car accident. Authorities said Fuller then fled that shooting and killed the second victim, Raymond Facey of Queens, while stealing his vehicle.
  • 3 Nassau beaches closed due to heavy rainfall

    3 Nassau beaches closed due to heavy rainfall

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:27 AM EDT2014-07-28 15:27:54 GMT
    Three Nassau County beaches have been closed to bathing due to heavy rainfall. County health officials say storm water runoff can elevate bacterial levels and affect bathing water quality. The three South Shore beaches that were closed Monday are: Hewlett Point Beach; Island Park Beach; and Merrick Estates Civic Association. In addition, Biltmore and Philip Healey beaches in Massapequa remain closed to bathing due to elevated levels of bacteria.
    Three Nassau County beaches have been closed to bathing due to heavy rainfall. County health officials say storm water runoff can elevate bacterial levels and affect bathing water quality. The three South Shore beaches that were closed Monday are: Hewlett Point Beach; Island Park Beach; and Merrick Estates Civic Association. In addition, Biltmore and Philip Healey beaches in Massapequa remain closed to bathing due to elevated levels of bacteria.
  • ‘Swim across America’ cancer research and prevention event

    ‘Swim across America’ cancer research and prevention event

    Saturday, July 26 2014 10:56 PM EDT2014-07-27 02:56:44 GMT
    The battle against cancer hit the shores of Larchmont, New York over the weekend. Hundreds took the plunge to raise money for cancer research, prevention and treatment as Swim across America held its annual open water swim across Long Island Sound. 
    The battle against cancer hit the shores of Larchmont, New York over the weekend. Hundreds took the plunge to raise money for cancer research, prevention and treatment as Swim across America held its annual open water swim across Long Island Sound. 
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

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