Seaside Residents Spend Over $550,000 On Storm Barrier. Storm Destroys It In One Weekend

(Public/Screenshot/Facebook/Salisbury Beach Citizens for Change)

John Oyewale Contributor
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Several Massachusetts coastal residents spent over $550,000 building a dune barrier, only for a Sunday storm to destroy it, according to reports.

The Salisbury Beach Citizens for Change’s (SBCFC) five-week sand dune restoration project in Salisbury ended last Wednesday, required over 14,000 tons of sand, and cost about $565,000, SBCFC President Tom Saab said in a statement last Thursday.

The SBCFC shared pictures and videos Sunday showing homes precariously perched on the remains of the sand dune barrier and the wreck of a state-constructed access point after a storm that had the ocean raging against the coastal neighborhood.

“Effective immediately, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has closed access points 9 and 10 at Salisbury Beach State Reservation in the Town of Salisbury due to storm damage,” a statement from the DCR read. “For the safety of our visitors, the access points will remain closed until further notice.”

“[I]f the dunes weren’t repaired over the last 5 weeks we would be talking about maybe 10 to 15 houses the Atlantic Ocean would have eaten up,” the SBCFC replied to a sympathetic commenter who nonetheless labelled the project a “bandaid on a wound that needs multiple stitches”.

“The sacrificial dunes did their job. The shock was it happened 3 days after the project was finished,” the SBCFC added, calling for the Democratic Gov. Maura Healey-led state government to “step up to the plate” as the beach belonged to the state.

The SBCFC said the “bandaid fix” the sand dune barrier project represented was allegedly “the only thing tactic [the state would] let us try,” in response to a commenter who said the SBCFC should have used rocks. “We have been begging for dredging, boulders (as suggest), sand harvesting etc to all be shut down.”

The SBCFC welcomed another’s suggestion of the use of huge sandbags. “We love it! All for any tactics to protect the beach. The issue is the State preventing us from doing anything.” (RELATED: Heart-Pounding Footage Of West Coast Storms Go Viral As Almost 40 Million People At-Risk)

Some others flayed the residents for their “rich people problems” and alleged that asking for a state bailout was socialism.

The prospect of relocation in the wake of the Sunday storm‘s damage seems difficult for the Salisbury Beach residents to accept as some of the homes have been there for generations, NBC 10 Boston reported.

“Sacrificial sand buys time,” Republican Sen. Bruce Tarr of First Essex and Middlesex told NBC 10 Boston, “but it does not buy permanence.”