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Aug 28, 2013 9:34 AM by Stephen Bowers

USGS quantifies erosion following Sandy

The U.S. Geological Survey has released a report that shows the amount of change on Fire Island, New York following Hurricane-turned-superstorm Sandy. Fire Island is the longest barrier island just off of Long Island and protects Long Island from the brunt of strong ocean storms.

In the report, the USGS says the beaches and sand dunes on Fire Island lost more than half of their volume. USGS Geologist Cheryl Hapke said storm surge water breached the island in three locations, leaving behind widespread damage to the island's infrastructure. The roughly 54% of volume decrease from beaches and dunes combined with overwash on 46% of Fire Island is said to have drastically changed the shape of the island.

The erosion also makes the area more vulnerable to to winter storms. Since Sandy, about 18% of the volume lost of the dunes and beaches has returned. The shoreline has shifted by nearly 200 feet in some areas of Fire Island.

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