Town Assessing Erosion Along South Shore After Heavy Surf

Jason Graziadei •

Cisco Beach during the storm. Photo by Kit Noble

Nantucket got pounded with relentless winds and heavy surf Monday as a coastal storm raged up the East Coast. Ferries were canceled all day, and the island’s south shore was took a beating from the powerful surf driven by wind gusts topping 60 mph out of the south. On Tuesday, town officials were assessing the erosion caused by the massive waves.

At the Surfside Wastewater Treatment Facility at the end of South Shore Road, the surf had punched through a dune closest to the southernmost sewer bed, and it was clear that waves had been pushing up against and through the chainlink fence at the edge of the property.

"Yeah, big-time erosion," Sewer Department director David Gray said. He added that the department was having surveyors come out to the facility Tuesday to survey the beach area. No official numbers had been released as of Tuesday night, and Gray said he is "waiting on the plan to come" to address the situation.

Meanwhile, the town's Natural Resources Department visited numerous other locations along the south shore on Tuesday to get a full picture of the impact of the storm.

"The main effect from the storm on Monday was erosion," said Vincent Murphy, the town's sustainability programs manager. "The usual erosion hotspots for a southerly storm were affected. Madaket saw some good swells and the carpark by Chicago Street and Macy Road was impacted. Cisco, Surfside and Codfish Park saw the beaches shortened as they usually are in these kinds of winter events. Cisco area had some minor localized erosion. Tom Nevers Fields by the recreation area had more erosion in this storm then most places and that is the sporadic nature of erosion. It’s been a few year since this area was impacted. The bank and bluff top areas are being assessed."

South shore photos below by Kit Noble:

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