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How dredging aids in post-hurricane reconstruction

It wasn’t that long ago when hurricanes Harvey and Irma swept the United States coastline, devastating the infrastructure and homes. We witnessed flooding, people being displaced from their homes, power outages, and overall damage to the cities and communities. However, one thing that’s not as noted is how the actual coast is affected. The beaches and coastline are the first pieces to be hit by the strong waves and storms, and even though they look solid and sturdy, a hurricane as strong as the two that we’ve witnessed is enough to destroy a beach.

During these types of storms, the strong waves take chunks of the beach and displaces it elsewhere, usually in a sandbar feet away from the coast. This isn’t always a bad thing, though, because storms are natural and the movement of sand helps to move around minerals and materials. However, too much could disrupt both the natural environment and the one fostered by humans. Our dredging company understands the necessity of dredging after a major storm because we believe it’s necessary for restoring the environment. Here is how:

Restores Ports

The ports are directly on the oceanfront, so you could only imagine the wreckage that these hurricanes imposed on the structures and boats. After the reconstruction of the marinas and cleaning up the debris and damage, you’d probably assume that it’s usable again. However, even if the marina looks usable on the surface, it most likely isn’t. This is because the strong storm probably displaced the entire bed underneath the water, causing it to be uneven. Driving boats over shallow water with an uneven surface is dangerous because the bottom of the boat could easily become stuck on a mound that’s too high from the bed.

The evenness of the bed changes over time, and dredging helps keep the port usable. A hurricane, however, not only expedites this, but also dramatizes it. Usually, these ports need extra dredging to restore them to normal functioning. Had we not had the technology to level the ocean beds beneath the ports, we wouldn’t be able to import and export many of the goods that sustain the economy. This isn’t a good thing, especially after a hurricane has devastated the coast. Houston, in particular, is a major exporting port for crude oil, and not being able to ship this out can have a huge affect on the world’s economy.

Fixes Beaches

Who doesn’t love the beach? Unfortunately, after a major hurricane, the beaches are destroyed and moved around by the strong winds and waves. First, this is bad because the beaches are rendered unusable, which can harm the economy of the local town. These areas attract tourists who in turn fuel the economy and support the local businesses. If the beach isn’t usable, then people aren’t going to visit.

The effects are even worse for beaches that are protected for wildlife purposes. The dunes on the beaches are home to wildlife, and some of those inhabitants are vulnerable or endangered. A hurricane as strong as Harvey or Irma would effectively chip away at the dunes and destroy the habitats of these animals.

Dredging solves for both of the issues by simply taking displaced sand and sediment and adding it back the beaches. Where the beach was destroyed, the new sediment effectively replaces. Then, people have a reason to go back to the beach and animals have a spot to nurture their young and thrive.

Protects against future storms

It seems like a stretch to think that dredging could actually protect against future storms, but it can. Think of it this way: the closer the town and infrastructure is to the ocean, the more likely it is to be destroyed by a hurricane. By dredging, we’re adding back to the coastline that was displaced by the storm and basically creating a barrier of coast that mitigates against the effects of a hurricane.

Hurricanes are often devastating, and it takes hard work to build up the cities that they destroy. Dredging plays a huge role that often goes unnoticed. We hope you found this post informative. For more information on our dredging company’s services, please give U.S. Aqua Services a call today.