Bethany Beach Dunes Take A Hit from Winter Storm
By Mark Fowser

Updated Monday, January 25, 2016 - 3:01am

photo courtesy of the Town of Bethany Beach website
Bethany Beach officials say a weekend winter storm took a significant bite out of the resort's dune system.

Major sections washed away during high tides, and the ocean washed over the dune at several locations.

The beaches were already vulnerable from an October nor'easter.

Steps that were installed after that storm washed away.

Town officials say the beach cannot be safely accessed at this time.


The following statement was posted Sunday on the Town of Bethany Beach website:

This storm brought 27+’ foot seas to the Atlantic Ocean off of Bethany Beach and posted a new high tide mark in Lewes, eclipsing the record set in the infamous storm of March 1962.

Sustained winds of approximately 35 mph and a maximum gust of 47.5 mph were registered at the University of Delaware’s weather station on the Bethany Beach Boardwalk.

During the two high tide cycles of the storm major sections of the Town’s protective dune were washed away and the ocean washed over the dune at multiple locations throughout Town.

Steps that the Town had installed at three different locations to allow access to the beach after the October storm have washed away.

At this time the beach cannot be safely accessed and any attempt to climb or jump down a dune face may have fatal consequences should the dune collapse during the attempt. When we are able to restore access to the beach we will notice the public.

Flooding throughout the rest of the community was on par with other significant nor’easters the Town has experienced and we have not observed unusual damage because of that flooding.

Wind damage throughout the community appears to be minimal, with the isolated loss of roofing shingles and substantial tree debris; typical of what the Town normally experiences in a weather event of this type. With the exception of one oceanfront condominium complex that suffered structural damage to its roof, there does not appear to be significant wind damage throughout the community.

We will be posting additional photos of the storms impact over the next few days and a before and after video of the dune front when we are able to access the beach.

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