Hermine causes major erosion along Pinellas County beaches

Hermine's waves batter beaches

Pinellas County's miles of beautiful beaches are a lot smaller today. Hermine's pounding waves caused some of the worst erosion in the last ten years. It's also causing a safety concern on Indian Rocks Beach.
 
Still, plenty of people peppering the beaches on this Labor Day Holiday, even though it's clear to see Hermine made its mark, eroding away a good portion of the beach.  
 
Signs that were posted all along Indian Rocks beach were found washed up a few miles away in Bellaire Shore.
Residents here say they knew it was going to be bad.
 
Richard Tenney says they probably lost 20 feet of beach. "We were out all night watching it because we didn't want it to come up in the yard."
 
"The waves came all the way up. They crested all the way up to the dunes onto the sea oats." said another long-time resident.
 
Indian Rocks Beach Mayor R. B. Johnson says this is the worst beach erosion he's seen in 20 years. He hopes this damage will help them secure the funding they need for a planned beach renourishment project next year.
 
"We've been waiting to get the federal funds secured, so I think the important thing right now is to make certain we can get the federal funds, because if we don't get those federal funds it may not happen until 2018. "
 
On the North end of the beach, you can see where the sand was washed away from under the beach walkovers, leaving behind a huge drop. It's a safety hazard that Mayor Johnson wants taken care of as soon as possible.  
 
"We need to get the OK from the state of Florida to either bring more sand up underneath those walkovers so it's safe or to build some stairs there."
 
As far as the sea turtle nests all along the beach, Johnson says many were washed away; however, several are stilled blocked off in the hopes that the babies could still hatch. There is good news about those sea turtle nests that did wash away, most of those were old and had already hatched earlier in the season.


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