You Can’t Beat Mother Nature

Town Neck Beach, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Town Neck Beach, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

I would have posted individual pictures of the aftermath of the storm but there were too many. So I figured I’d put them into two collages. The first 10 pictures of the top one focus on the end of Town Neck Beach where the two storms and hurricane since last fall have created three serious breaches in the dunes protecting the salt marsh in front of our Town. For those of you who don’t live in Sandwich I have mentioned before that the dunes create a barrier between the ocean and the salt marsh. If the dunes are wiped out at a high tide the salt marsh will flood and so will parts of the town. This is what happened during the most recent storm as we had three very high tides, the water came through the breaches, flooded the marsh and as a result parts of old historic Sandwich.  Some of the pictures show a different landscape. The dunes were carved away in spots and flattened out. The sea grass that the Town has taken great care in protecting was cut as if with scissors. Before when standing on the saltmarsh side of the dunes you could not see the ocean. Now the dunes have created a flat plateau. You can see straight across to the ocean.

The remaining pictures in this collage and the second show the other end of the beach where there are many residential homes and cottages. It never really dawned on me how close these homes were to the water until I saw the small bit of lawns that had carved away and stairs/decks ripped off. One house was very fortunate in that they had just dug it out and put it up on pilings. Had they not done this the house would have been under water and quite possibly toppled over. The sand below it was carved out by the waves and I’m not so sure it would have supported the weight of the house had the pilings not been there. I hope they’re at least 40’ pilings because as we saw on Plum Island during this storm anything less is not sufficient versus the fury of the Atlantic. One massive house on 20’ pilings tumbled into the water during the storm. The one beside it on 40’ pilings was safe.

I also included some pictures of rock. Why you may ask? As my husband says it shows how the ocean carved out so much beach it dropped it down to clay. You could grab off chunks and it was just as if you could model with it. Apparently there is significant damage when you start seeing that!

We can spend the money to replenish the beach but as we have seen before it is only a matter of time before Mother Nature wins out. She certainly has in Chatham, Truro, and Plymouth where houses have been lost to the ocean due to changing shorelines as a result of countless storms. You can’t mess around with Mother Nature as she carves from one area only to add to another.