Seventy-eight percent of Florida’s west central coast and 23 percent of the Panhandle are very likely to face beach and dune erosion as Tropical Storm Isaac moves into the area early next week, according to an assessment released by the U.S. Geological Survey on Friday.
These numbers are likely to increase if the storm reaches hurricane strength as predicted.
For many Florida beaches that had significant erosion during Tropical Storm Debby in June, the impact of additional erosion may be even more significant.
“With Issac bearing down on Florida beaches so soon on the heels of Debby, this is like a ‘one-two punch’ for the dunes that provide coastal protection,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. “As these sand dunes dynamically morph to new configurations, our science-based models can help in forecasting where communities are at most risk from storm damage in this ever-changing spatial and temporal pattern of storm intensity and coastal morphology.”
During tropical storms and hurricanes, elevated water levels and waves can lead to dramatic coastal change through erosion of beaches and dunes. These beaches and dunes can serve as a first line of defense for residents for many coasts exposed to these types of storms.
Press Release, August 27, 2012