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Beach renourishment holds for Hurricane Zeta

Islander Photo: ChrisAnn Allen

Posted on November 4, 2020

The pipes used to pump fresh sand onto the beach as part of a $17 million renourishment project are lined up as crews wait Oct. 28 for the seas to calm from rough currents caused by Hurricane Zeta’s passage through the Gulf of Mexico, about 800 miles west of Anna Maria Island. The project was planned to resume Oct. 29.

An active hurricane season has led to several delays for beach renourishment.

The project, which involves pumping sand from borrow areas via a dredge about a quarter-mile offshore to replenish eroded beaches, paused Oct. 27-28 for the passage of Hurricane Zeta in the Gulf of Mexico, about 700 miles west of Tampa Bay.

The barges cannot operate in rough seas.

“The dredge and the booster are in safe harbor behind Egmont Key as of yesterday morning, waiting for the sea to calm,” said David Ruderman, communications representative for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a funding source for the $17 million sand replenishment project, along with the state and Manatee County.

He wrote The Islander Oct. 28, “Onshore, the crew continued consolidating their footprint, shifting out of Manatee (Public Beach) to Coquina Park, and expect to resume beach work.”

Red flags were flying Oct. 28 as rip current warnings were issued through the loudspeakers at Coquina Beach.

Renourishment also stalled for Hurricane Delta, which passed through the Gulf the week of Oct. 7 and Hurricane Sally, the week of Sept. 12.

The project was planned to resume it’s last leg in the 2600 block of Gulf Drive South and continue to the terminus at Longboat Pass the first week of November.

Construction began July 8 near 77th Street in Holmes Beach.

People can visit and search for “beach renourishment updates” for more information about the project.


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