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Heavy Erosion Likely Result Of Two-day Storm

Tides were high Friday morning but the wind had dropped considerably from Thursday, leading to fewer problems than anticipated.

Minor coastal flooding was evident along east-facing shorelines, and high water continued to erode exposed areas, especially along Chatham's eastern shore.

At high tide Friday, Pleasant Bay waters were lapping at the pavement of Route 28 at Head of the Bay, but the flooding was not severe enough to close the road.  Roadways in North Chatham were flooded for the second day in a row, and both Scatteree and Strong Island town landings continued to erode.  The lower parking lot at the fish pier was also flooded.  The camps on North Beach Island appeared to be in place.

We'll have a full report in Thursday's paper.

March 8, 2013, 11:15 a.m.

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Wind-driven waves pounded the coast Thursday causing extensive erosion to shorelines already weakened by last month's blizzard.

A house on Pleasant Bay in East Harwich flooded and several roads in the North Chatham area were under water early in the day. Tides retreated little as the morning wore on, continuing to pound the shoreline with heavy waves well past high tide.

Wind gusts of 44 miles per hour were reported at Chatham Airport. The wind was steady at 35 to 40 miles per hour at the Coast Guard Station, where a storm warning flag was flying. Officials warned that the high winds could bring power outages to the area. As of noon, 89 customers were without power in Harwich, while NSTAR reported three customers without power in Chatham.

The storm was expected to last into Friday, encompassing at least two more high tides.

“It's not good,” said Chatham Coastal Resources Director Ted Keon. “This duration is going to be troubling.”

Sand placed at the Strong Island town landing after extensive erosion there in the February blizzard was gone, he said. The sand was expected to be “sacrificial” and at offered somewhat of a buffer against further erosion, he said.

Water was flowing beneath the boathouse at Cotchpinicut and pounding barriers at Scatteree. The outline of the remaining North Beach Island camps could still be seen through the rain, mist and occasional wet snow. Keon said while the island is likely to flood extensively, most of the camps are on sturdy pilings and should survive. The Gould camp, however, rests on cribbing.

“That is the one I think could be more vulnerable,” he said.

Conditions made it impossible to view the new break in South Beach from the mainland, but Keon said recent indications were that the cut remained open at all tides.

We'll update this story as necessary; follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more frequent updates.

March 7, 2013, 12 p.m.

 

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