Watch CBS News

Atlantic City officials survey beach erosion from Ophelia's damage

Officials concerned with beach erosion caused by Ophelia
Officials concerned with beach erosion caused by Ophelia 02:28

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Tropical Storm Ophelia left a trail of damage along the east coast, including on the Jersey Shore. The storm shaved a huge chunk off of Atlantic City's coastline over the weekend.

Jersey Shore beach dunes took a beating during Ophelia storm 02:21

While it's definitely calmer outside today, leaders say the full extent of the damage isn't known just yet.

READ MORE: Jersey Shore beaches, dunes eaten up by Ophelia's impact

It's been a number of years since Atlantic City Beach Patrol Chief Steve Downey saw storm damage like this.

"Just a lot more of the rock piles, a lot more of the pipes. A lot of the infrastructure of the pipes are exposed, that wasn't like that before the weekend," said Downey. 

The beach patrol chief says Tropical Storm Ophelia took some five to 10 feet of beach from parts of the coastline.

Atlantic City's beach, right off of Rhode Island Avenue, saw some of the worst erosion.

"The waters calmed down a little bit from what it was this weekend. It was kind of out of control this weekend," Downey said. 

I was standing on the beach off Rhode Island Avenue and saw how drastic one of the dune drop-offs had become after Ophelia left its mark. For the record, I'm 5 feet 8 inches tall.

DeMentri is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and you can see the beach drop-off is about the same height as her. 

"Ophelia, we were pretty fortunate that it was just the one tide. It came up pretty quick." Scott Evans said

Atlantic City's Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Scott Evans says the storm itself didn't cause as much damage as expected.

Still, the major erosion uptown is a concern with safety a top priority.

"It makes it a little bit more challenging for us to do our job. I hate to say that we're getting used to this stuff all the time, but we love living here. We love the community. We love our beach. We're going to do everything we can to protect it and keep it safe," Evans said.

For now it's literally the calm after the storm, with people walking the boards, even some enjoying the salt air on the beach.

Mother nature, though, isn't done just yet.

"We're expecting some more on the backend to be coming in the next couple of days," Downey said. "It's going to get some more erosion, some more strong surges and we got the new moon tide coming as well."

Leaders in Atlantic City hope they'll be able to bring a beach replenishment project here within the next year.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.