When you have a big storm like Sandy that slides up the coast, it does not take long for those of us who live in the area to start wondering what the storm did to the beaches.
In 2011 after Irene came through the area, I did a post called, “Walking between Irene, Katia, and Maria.” In that post I chronicled some of the changes that I saw on the Point after Irene. When I walk the Point, I use a piece of software called MyTracks. It runs on my Android phone and does a very good job of tracking where I walk.
In fact the maps that I create with my phone are much more accurate than what is typically posted on the web by Google, MapQuest, or Bing. Their maps are updated infrequently, and the Point changes sometimes from day to day. Often the Google maps show me walking across great expanses of water. Unfortunately I have yet to master that skill. I might get my toes wet, but on November 1, when I last visited the Point wading with my bare legs was not something I did. At that time the water was cooling rapidly.
After Irene I calculated what I considered to be the new sand on the Point based on my previous hikes. The Point has continued change throughout 2012. In September 2012, I did another post, Back to The Point, discussing changes at the Point. I also made another map from a hike which confirmed that sand was continuing to build up at the Northwest corner of the Point.
When I visited the Point on November 1, 2012, I really did not know what to expect. At the time there were no newspaper reports discussing Sandy’s impact on our beaches. It did not take me long after I got on the beach to decide that Sandy had smoothed the beach considerably but did not seem to damage it.
The cliffs of Emerald Isle as I call a series of sand dunes which are near where I enter the beach survived with no damage as you can see from this picture. You can see from this photo that Sandy did level the beach and create some great walking conditions.
My hike confirmed that the Point survived Sandy without any major changes. As I mentioned earlier, the long term trend of more sand at the Northwest end of the Point continues as you can see in this picture.
Though a lack of time prevented me from going all the way to end of Bird Island, if you look at this map of my hike and compare it to the one from August 31, you can quickly see that the changes have been minor.
I am pleased to report that there is a new dune building on the Point. The Emerald Isle folks have it surrounded with warning tape, so I am hoping it will continue to grow.
The one thing that can definitely be said is that the Point has grown tremendously since I took this picture in November of 2007 when water was lapping at the vehicle ramp. The Point essentially disappeared during high tides in late fall of 2007. Using the map from my November 1, 2012, hike, I estimate there is now 1,742 feet of sand straight out from the vehicle ramp where there was only water in November of 2007. That measurement has not varied significantly since this spring.
After a lot of hikes around the Point, it is easy to say that there is a lot of sand out there.