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Ocean City Surveys Beaches for Damage

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The boardwalk wasn't bustling but it certainly wasn't empty as Hurricane Earl passed by.
Sabri Ben-Achour
The boardwalk wasn't bustling but it certainly wasn't empty as Hurricane Earl passed by.

By Sabri Ben-Achour

Any big storm like Hurricane Earl has the potential to erode beaches and the sand dunes that protect seaside homes and businesses.

Ocean City has spent millions on this over the years and is preparing to survey the damage once again.

The riptides and the waves that hurricane Earl is still lobbing toward Ocean City are monumental great for surfers like Danny King, who owns Kingy's Cotton Candy on the boardwalk.

"I dig the big swells," King says. "I'm gonna go surfin' tonight if it cleans up!"

But for the beach itself, that's another story.

The gigantic waves scour the beach -- they can strip away enormous quantities of sand.

Back in 1985, Hurricane Gloria took out the beach and then the boardwalk.

Last November, Ocean City's dunes were devastated by a Nor'easter, it cost $11 million to repair.

"Every three or four years, we re-nourish the beach," Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan says.

He and city engineers are going to be surveying the beaches for damage over the next few days. I

If there are any problems, they may need to move sand from where it's accumulated to where it's eroded.

It's part of an official program the city started 20 years ago.

That project over the course of those years has cost over $100 million.

But the Army Corps of Engineers estimates that it has saved over $276 million in potential damage.

Sometimes Mother Nature does the work.

If sand doesnt get washed too far away, Meehan says it returns in a few weeks and builds the beach back up.

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