Sand movement during Hurricane Matthew replenishes portion of Miami Beach

Winds, waves were strong enough to reconfigure shoreline

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Though Miami Beach was spared a direct hit from Hurricane Matthew, the winds and waves were strong enough to reconfigure the shoreline.

A professional drone pilot captured the stark differences in video taken in the same place over Miami Beach at 46th Street before the hurricane on Oct. 5, then again after the storm on Oct. 9.

"Sometimes we'll see things that baffle the imagination, but science doesn't lie," said Christopher Todd, who is the founder and CEO of Airborne Response.

From the video, Dr. Nelson Melo, director of marine research at Altametry, did the calculations.

"We found 23 meters in one place and 15 meters in another that was moved on the beach from one place to the other," Melo said.

But instead of eroding the shoreline, the storm-forced sand movement replenished a portion of the beach at the location where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working on a $12 million, 3,000-foot beach renourishment project.

Crew members from the Corps told Local 10 News that Hurricane Matthew did not set back the beach renourishment project. 

Melo said the situation would have been much different had the storm made a direct hit.

"If the hurricane really arrived to the beach with whole force and the right angle, this beach would be over," he said.

Click here to learn more about the Army Corps of Engineers Miami Beach renourishment project.


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