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Delaware beaches suffer minor to moderate impacts from nor'easter

Damage to the steps of the boardwalk leading down to Bethany Beach

Delaware’s beaches saw minor to moderate damage from this week’s nor’easter, with Bethany Beach faring the worst of all.

After the recent nor’easter, officials from Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control scanned Delaware’s beaches for changes in elevation. They found moderate beach erosion along Atlantic beaches and both minor and moderate sand loss along Delaware Bay beaches.

Mike Powell, the acting program administrator for DNREC’s Shoreline and Waterway Management Section, says his department saw some damage to the steps of Bethany Beach and lots of beach erosion.


“It’s not a surprise that they were hit the hardest in this storm, mainly because they were long overdue to get much needed sand,” Powell said.

Some of that lost sand will naturally move back to the beach, Powell said. Officials will also be planting beach grass, restoring dunes and replacing fencing to prepare Bethany and other beaches for the summer tourism season.

“The later in the season that we have these storms, the more of a challenge it makes to get the beaches prepared for Memorial Day Weekend and the high tourist season,” Powell said.


Bethany Beach last received more sand from a federal beach renourishment project in fall 2013, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. 


It’s set to get more this summer, along with South Bethany and Fenwick Island, when crews will pump sand from the bottom of an offshore area onto the beaches.

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