NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 31, 2012

Salisbury, Seabrook seashore weather Sandy

Officials say communities 'lucky' damage wasn't worse

Despite some minimal damage, officials in Salisbury and Seabrook are breathing a sigh of relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

“You can see where Mother Nature visited,” Seabrook Public Works Manager John Starkey said. “The beach is a little steeper that it used to be, pretty much all over. But over the winter, the sand will probably come back. It could have been worse. It could have been much, much worse.”

In Salisbury, Public Works Director Don Levesque relayed the same message. Given what other seacoast communities in Massachusetts, as well as in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, are dealing with, Salisbury was fortunate.

Levesque said there was some flooding during the two high tides on Monday in the usual trouble spots — on Beach Road by the road to Salisbury Beach State Reservation and by the salt marsh on North End Boulevard, on Lewis, Lawrence, 11th and 12th streets. There also was a wash-over in the beach center on Broadway.

“I’ve seen it worse,” Levesque said. “All in all, in my opinion, it wasn’t too bad. We were lucky.”

Both towns have seen severe damage during past storms, like last year’s October snowstorm and a couple of wild spring Nor’easters that have hammered coastlines and flooded basements, businesses and roadways.

Past storms have hit Salisbury Beach hard, causing homeowners especially at the south end of the beach to fear their properties would be swept into the sea. But this time, beachfront home owner Don Egan said the shore was more fortunate.

“There was a lot of wind and stuff blowing around and some erosion,” said Egan, who watched the outlying winds of Hurricane Sandy lash the coastline in front of his Atlantic Avenue home. “But it wasn’t too bad.”

Levesque said the sand lost at Salisbury Beach probably will make its way back up the shore if there’s a lull in the weather. The big worry would be another ocean storm coming soon, he said.

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