South Shore beaches face threat of further erosion from another storm

Crews reinforced dunes at Ponquogue Beach, which lost a lot of sand during last month's storm.

Jon Dowding

Jan 8, 2024, 10:17 PM

Updated 186 days ago


From Long Beach to Montauk, beaches are expected to take another hit from Mother Nature Tuesday.
The problem is erosion has already battered many South Shore beaches.
Crews reinforced dunes at Ponquogue Beach, which lost a lot of sand during last month's storm.
Town of Southampton Emergency Manager Ryan Murphy says the conditions with tomorrow’s storm are serious.
"We're expecting to see potentially 15-to-20-foot crashing surf,” he said. "The wave action tends to really kind of carve out this whole beach area and take away a lot of the sand. And unfortunately, on the other side of it is a critical piece of infrastructure to us, which is the Shinnecock Commercial Docks."
The situation farther east in Montauk doesn't look great. Past protections lie torn apart on the beach.
Efforts to begin rebuilding the beach are planned to start Thursday.
Town of East Hampton Deputy Supervisor Cate Rogers says the impacts of nor'easters are worse than hurricanes.
"It shortens the beaches. It stresses out town services. We have more highway flooding. We have more road damage,” she said. “We have infrastructure damage that comes along with these storms now."
This causes them to have to constantly work on ways to improve resiliency in the future.
Back out west at Gilgo Beach State Park, New York State Parks Long Island Regional Director George Gorman says the beach is also already storm ravaged.
"Unfortunately, the mid-December storm caused considerable erosion at that location,” he said. “It went into the dunes as well as the entrance roadway. So we suffer from significant erosion."
Gorman says officials expect even more erosion after Tuesday's storm.
"The storms seem to have gotten much more intense than they were many years ago,” said Gorman.
Officials say the problem lies in more erosion events right after one another.

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