January Storm Beach Erosion 2017

Cape May, NJ -  Monday morning, Brian Carney from Dennisville dared to stand as close as he could to fierce waves along Cape May’s beach. The beach was being pummeled by both powerful waves and wind gusts from the huge coastal storm.

The waves reached moderate flood stage, at just about 7 feet early Tuesday morning.  Some areas of the back bay marshes were covered almost completely by water.


Photo by Glory Lenore

Mighty winds ripped through the area for hours. Winds on Cape Island were reported as high as 62 miles per hour by Captain Ray of the Tiderunner. The National Weather Service clocked 53 mile per hour wind gusts at the Cape May County Airport.

Luckily, houses and trees in the area received little damage. The brunt of the storm’s force was felt by the beaches.

The photo above was taken just before the storm came ashore Sunday afternoon.  That section of the beach, near the Cove, had just been built up by the Army Corps of Engineers, in a $15 million dollar beach replenishment program.

By Wednesday morning, Mother Nature had carved up a new beach.  Much of the Army Corps’ five foot wall of sand was gone.

In its place, a new round of depressions filled with sea water. Some channels were several feet deep.

Cape May has been trying over and over again to fill in depressions in Cove Beach.

The Army Corps of Engineers is still at work along the beachfront, adding sand to beaches at Cape May Point State Park. From there, they move the beach replenishment project to the Coast Guard base. No word on how much sand was lost in the storm or if the Army Corps will be returning to the Cove.

About Jane Kashlak

Jane Kashlak - a journalist, gardener and Cape Island resident - is writing a book.