Excerpts from the Hurricane Frances RM damage assessment. Jeanne did a lot more damage to the beach. Photos are from the South District of the park from Jeanne.
Generally speaking, the three photos were all taken from boardwalk 8 in the South District (Playalinda) facing south. The first is before any of the hurricanes. The second, after Frances shows some sand deposition on the dune vegetation. The third is after Jeanne. There is some dune erosion and washover evidence visible.
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Generally, 3 to 4 feet of loose sand was removed from the beach face. No major washovers were seen, but a layer of sand was blown onto the backside of the dune by heavy winds.
The dune proper appeared to sustain minor erosion. Measurements were taken at the dune monitoring transects along the north boundary of the park and compared to those last recorded in 2002. Changes may or may not reflect effects of Hurricane Frances. Overall, dune erosion is approximately 0.5ft at Sites 2 and 5, 1ft at Site 6 and 1.8ft at Site 3. The back stake at Site 1 could not be located, so no measurement was recorded.
Approximately 1/2 mile of dune fencing was destroyed or damaged. The existing fence worked well, capturing loose sand and reducing erosion and dune loss. To prevent visitors from further damaging the fragile dune ecosystem, fencing will need to be replaced and dune vegetation replenished.
Beach Road: Playalinda between boardwalk 8 and 9. Sand was about 2 feet deep on roadway.
Loop: Loop at the end of the beach road. Also at Playalinda.
SD1: One of the parking lots at Playalinda.
Grid 17-car: This washed up after Jeanne.
Photos and information provided by:
Candace Carter, Resource Management
Biological Science Technician