South Brevard beach erosion similar to Hurricanes Matthew, Irma, county says

Beach renourishment projects followed previous storms

Like Hurricanes Matthew and Irma five and six years ago, Brevard County officials said Ian is eroding beaches too.

MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. – Like Hurricanes Matthew and Irma five and six years ago, Brevard County officials said Ian is eroding beaches too.

The damage to dunes from this storm was greater than expected in Melbourne Beach. Just a foot or two of storm surge pushed sand all the way onto the beach access ramp at Coconut Point Park.

“I was afraid I was going to get stuck,” Marie Broccoli said.

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Tuesday, the Palm Bay resident pushed her 96-year-old mother, Helen, in a wheelchair to watch the waves.

“The water is very high,” Broccoli noted. “There’s no dry sand, hardly at all any beach area.”

The county said millions spent on beach renourishment projects after Matthew and Irma is helping protect infrastructure.

“I think it is worth it,” Broccoli said of the projects.

Now, she and her mother think a new renourishment project would be a good idea.

The county responds to critics who say the projects are a waste of money, that the beaches must be maintained for tourism.

“The beaches are beautiful, part of why we moved from Rhode Island,” Broccoli said “And I could keep bringing my mom.”

Ultimately, the county’s beach project manager said after evaluating the losses, he’ll present that information to the county commission and commissioners will decide if the additional maintenance work is warranted.


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About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.