Hurricane Maria aggravates beach erosion from Irma, Matthew

Brevard beaches pummeled by weekend high surf

SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. – Mother Nature provided a rough welcome to some Brevard County beachgoers Monday. Waves in Satellite Beach crashed against sand dunes that continue to be pushed back in the wake of recent storms.

"This is about what I expected after the hurricane passing by. It's definitely taken its toll," Ocean Rescue Chief Eisen Witcher said while surveying beach erosion off of Shell Street.

Witcher said Friday that Hurricane Maria could mean even more damage to county beaches already battered by Hurricanes Matthew and Irma.

On Monday, the chief watched the waves pounding in the dunes another few feet.

"It's so sharp. It's so steep. It's chipping at the base of it and the rest of it's falling down into the water," he said.

Satellite Beach resident Mary Rocco-Lewandowski said the erosion is as bad as she's seen in 13 years of living by the beach.

"I would say another six feet," she said while estimating how much further the beach eroded over the weekend with surf in the range of nine-11 feet. "This is a natural resource that we'll never have again."

Rocco-Lewandowski's oceanfront neighbor Dale Abrahams said she remembers when the storms of 2004 even washed away a beach access deck and how a piece of black tarp on the beach was once part of county efforts to replace sand.

"This was gone in 2004," Abrahams said of the staircase leading to the beach.

The county says another multi-million dollar beach restoration project will begin in November.

Neighbors who spoke with News 6 said they're not afraid of what the sea might bring next.

"I'm used to it. You can't stop Mother Nature. If she wants these beaches, it's going to go away," said Rocco-Lewandowski.

"Less development on the beach," she said, offering her long term idea to deal with the problem.

"It's not going to happen," Abrahams told News 6.

"Everybody that's on the beach here, they generate revenue--revenue for the county and the municipality--parks don't do that," she said.

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