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Better shore preservation after hurricanes

Hurricane Sandy led to the equivalent of 30 years of beach erosion.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Better shore preservation after hurricanes
Federal government says it has better data on sediments in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The hurricane caused the equivalent of 30 years of beach erosion. File Photo by John Anderson/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Coordination between more than a dozen U.S. states along the Atlantic Coast led to new ways at preserving sediments after hurricanes, the government said.

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said it used emergency funding made available in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to consolidate information about offshore sediments through the coordination with 13 states that border the Atlantic Ocean.

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"The completion of these activities marks great progress for BOEM, our state and academic partners and others concerned with coastal and wetland restoration and resilience planning," BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement.

Sandy hit the U.S. East Coast late October 2012 as a Category 1 storm. It merged with an eastward-bound storm system, creating a so-called superstorm. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Sandy caused the equivalent of 30 years worth of beach erosion.

Dune systems provide a natural defense for storms like Sandy.

In terms of power systems, roughly 8.5 million customers were left without power because of Sandy and the eastward-bound storm system that followed.

Hurricane Matthew was a Category 3 storm when it skirted the east coast of Florida and made landfall in South Carolina in early October. Total power outages associated with that storm peaked at 2.5 million.

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Dozens of people in the United States and hundreds of people in Haiti were left dead in the wake of Matthew. Matthew's persistence and other storms like it have led some to look for a link to climate change.

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