Posted January 1, 2019
High wind combined with high tide and a strong storm is a bad combination for South Lido Key,
“It looks like it eroded another four feet,” says Suzanne Smith.
That may not sound like much but when there’s not much there begin to with Smith says it’s a lot. She says, “It hurts to see the beach erode that much in a short time.”
Smith and her husband are spending two weeks at their timeshare at Sarasota Sands. She says when they arrived a few days ago most of this rock barrier was covered with sand.
“It’ll be an expensive problem to fix this beach area,” says Smith.
Emergency dredging started 5 weeks ago north of Sarasota Sands at Lido’s public beach. The beach has been extended about 140 feet but it’s hard to tell on this stormy day as the water covers much of the beach.
Storms like this one slow down the $3.9 million dollar project. It’s the sixth weather delay with 19 work days lost after this storm passes. Each day delays getting help to where its critically needed further south.
“It’s extremely sad for me. I’ve seen it when it’s wider and what it’s doing now it’s a loss a great loss,” says Smith.
Shelley Enger has spent hours watching her timeshare take a beating from the surf. She says, “To see the force of this is amazing.”
Curtis Huggins, the dredging contractor with Coastal Dredging Company, Inc says he needs more than a few days of good weather to get ahead because each storm sets him back as some of the new sand washes away.
“People come to Florida to go to the beach, to be on the beach,’ says Smith.
That’s what she hopes to find next year.
She says, “I hope I find beach all the way out.”
Huggins says it’ll take a few days for the waves to settle to determine how much beach has been lost. He plans on bringing in a second pipe after the New Year’s to step up dredging and help make up for lost time.
The long-term solution for beach erosion is a 20-year long plan with the Army Corps of Engineers. The $22 million dollar project calls for the dredging of Big Pass between the south end of Lido Key and the north end of Siesta Key with dredging every five years to help maintain the beach.