Pre-Christmas storm causes flooding but no major damage

As if to prove a point, Mother Nature unleashed a whopper of a storm just a few days after the New Shoreham Sea Level Rise Committee’s December meeting. The storm that started late Thursday night did most of its damage locally during the high tide Friday morning, December 23, as waves washed over low-lying areas and caused significant erosion along the eastern shore of the island. The focus of the Sea Level Rise Committee’s meeting was on the importance of salt marshes, including their role in absorbing storm surge and preventing erosion.But, Block Island’s salt marshes are mainly around the Great Salt Pond, and despite the build-up of dunes along the eastern shore, water washed over many areas of Corn Neck Road from the gas station north, leaving debris and sand all over the pavement. Particularly hard hit was the northern end and the area between Bridgegate Square and Fred Benson Town Beach where the parking lot was flooded. There were also “wash-overs” on Spring Street below the Spring House.Tides and waves move sand around all the time, and although Crescent Beach was left a rocky scene, the storm surge was particularly damaging at Ballard’s Beach where snow-fencing

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