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Storm Surges’ Effect on our Local Landscape

Dune+Road+in+East+Quogue+on+September+20.++Photo+courtesy+of+The+Patch
Dune Road in East Quogue on September 20.  Photo courtesy of The Patch

Dune Road in East Quogue on September 20. Photo courtesy of The Patch

Dune Road in East Quogue on September 20. Photo courtesy of The Patch

Benjamin Cooke, Staff Writer

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Dune erosion has been a problem in Westhampton since in 1960s. Thankfully Suffolk County was spared for the most part by Hurricane Jose. But those living on Dune Road or for beach lovers, the situation is different.

The effects of hurricanes across the East Coast, Texas, and the Caribbean were devastating. I spoke with Geology teacher Ms. Tracy to learn how Hurricane Jose affected our beaches.

Ms. Tracy said, “The damage from Tropical Storm Jose mostly came from the storm surge.”  She explained, “Storm surges from hurricanes are not to be taken lightly.  It is to consider the development of housing and business near our barrier beaches that serve to protect Long Island. One of the most important dangers of a hurricane is storm surge.”

While Tropical Storm Jose was off-shore, the storm surge caused Dune Road to slightly flood. Ms. Tracy said that if a hurricane of a higher category would hit Suffolk County, the effects would be devastating in terms of coastal erosion and flooding.

Inlets may also reopen. Moriches Inlet was formed in a hurricane and there is a chance another inlet could be formed because of a hurricane. There would also be major impacts to the wildlife in the inlets, bays, and ocean.

Since the water levels are rising due to the melting of polar ice caps and storm surge from Hurricane Jose. The barrier islands around Long Island are in danger, The islands are also taking on a lot of the storm surge that would be hitting Long Island. Chance of significant erosion if not eventually a full disappearance of some of these barrier islands is also a possibility.

Dune Road is just a housing area to most. People forget that Dune Road is also a park area. Ms. Tracy suggested to limit building permits as one way to help limit dune erosion. Ms. Tracy also said Geographical Information Systems would have a massive impact on limiting erosion, by monitoring sea and sand levels.

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Storm Surges’ Effect on our Local Landscape