By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
A lingering coastal storm in October 2019 was particularly memorable in Sea Isle City.
It unleashed a series of unusually high tides over a four-day period that sliced away the dunes and stripped some of the beaches of their powdery top layer of sand.
The power of the storm also manifested in another way: It literally tore some of the wooden dune fencing to shreds.
Preparing for more storms in the future, Sea Isle has approved a $30,500 contract to buy a large supply of sand dune fencing that will replace any that is damaged.
“This is a rough environment because of the elements,” city spokeswoman Katherine Custer said in an interview Friday.
Custer noted that the city regularly keeps an extra supply of dune fencing on hand for repairs.
“It’s another example of how the city administration and elected officials view the importance of maintaining the infrastructure,” she said.
Sea Isle’s new contract with Lumbermen Associates Inc. of Bristol, Pa., includes 360 rolls of 50-foot dune fencing and 1,800 wooden posts each 7 feet high.
Sand fences are used to control erosion and help protect the dunes. They are also commonly used after storms to stabilize the dunes and help them recover from damage.
Custer said the purchase of the new dune fencing is not related to Sea Isle’s beach replenishment project, which is expected to wrap up this weekend.
The city’s storm-damaged beaches have already been replenished between 28th and 52nd streets. The second part of the project finishing up this weekend will restore the beaches between 84th and 93rd streets.
Most of the replenishment project involves widening the beaches. However, in some areas the dunes, beach access points and sand fencing will be repaired, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency overseeing the project.