Ocean City sees sand pushed to boardwalk, as Sacrificial Beach and dunes protect city

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OCEAN CITY, MD – Ocean City experienced storm surge, riptide and winds over 40 mph when the effects of Hurricane Ian hit the city Friday night.

On Saturday, the boardwalk was covered in sand; revetment benches, fences and barriers for the now canceled Ocean Callings Festival.

But according to the US Army Crops of Engineers, the sand on the boardwalk is a sign that their Ocean City coastal storm risk management program is working.

“The cove beach is known as a sacrificial beach, it is meant to be eroded, to break the inertia of the waves and to ensure that water cannot go far inland”, USACE Baltimore District Emergency Management said. Chief Dorie Murphy.

Murphy was surveying the damage in Ocean City on Saturday, seeing where rip currents had eroded the beach and whether the waters had reached the dunes and seawall near 59th Street.

She tells us the tops of the dunes were wet, indicating tidal forces had moved up the beach, but the dunes and extended beach still acted as a barrier and protected people, property and critical infrastructure.

“Without this program, the waves would have come further across the island impacting businesses, and would be hit hard by the waves that we see there today,” she said, adding, “I’m looking at damage-free businesses that haven’t been flooded, so I’m going to say this project s went as planned.

Murphy tells 47ABC that the beaches are replenished every 4 years, but with a northeast on the way, his team will be back to examine the beach and determine if it needs to be restored sooner.

“EUSACE engineers and MDNR to lead to a pity Evaluation of the project and they can come and rehabilitate to pre-storm conditions,” she said.

Murphy expects that assessment to be completed by the end of the fall storm season.

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