'Super Moon,' wind, cause erosion on Spit
Last week’s 22-foot-plus high tides caused by the largest “Super Moon” of the year, and driven by a brisk west wind sent water flooding the flats of Beluga Slough, waves crashing onto the Spit Road, and sand to wash away out at the end of the Spit under a boardwalk.
At Monday’s Homer City Council meeting, Councilmember Donna Aderhold asked interim City Manager Marvin Yoder about the damage.
“We did receive an email with a number of photographs of damage out on the Spit. And I'm wondering if you can speak to what's the status with DOT and the Corps and what's happening out on the Spit at this time,” she said.
“I did have a long talk with Bryan and there is some contact that has been made already. And it definitely is becoming a real critical issue,” he said. “There are some tailings and stuff that are going to come in there. What storm brings in, they're moving some of that stuff over there. So I don't know the whole story, yet.”
Port Director Bryan Hawkins says erosion is not a regular occurance, but it is predictable when high spring tides and the last of the winter storms coincide.
“Yeah, no business were open at this time. It's still early in our season here. So that was fortunate. We're hoping that getting through the worst of the winter gales and you know the winds will be nicer to us during the next set of tides. We really have to pay attention during winter tidal season.”
Hawkins said Wednesday that there is a supply of sand available to make repairs.
“We have a supply of dredge materials that are able to use to help fight the erosion. It's a losing battle. I describe it as feeding the monster. We put it out there of course, the sea takes away. It's just sad. We're working with the Corps in the state on a bigger program to try and come up with a long term plan and mitigation,” he said.
Hawkins said that grant applications to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and other federal sources could have been delayed by the current Covid-19 crisis, but he says solutions to erosion may be coming in the future.