Chatham’s Little Beach Residents Seeking Flooding Solutions

CHATHAM – Property owners on Little Beach, Morris Island and Stage Island are working with Chatham officials to find solutions to limit the impacts of future flood events.

The area saw substantial flooding during the winter nor’easters.

The Little Beach Association was formed after the severe flooding of Morris Island Road throughout the winter and member John Hausner spoke before Selectmen last month to discuss the impacts from the storms and how the town and private property owners can work together to minimize the effects of future storms.

“This effect that hit us was not a one-off deal,” Hausner said.

“I think anybody who has bothered to look at what’s happened to North and South Beach over the last three years is probably well aware of the effects that the ocean is having.”

Although most of the flooding happened on private property and private roads, property owners will have to cover most of the costs incurred from the severe weather.

The association is seeking help from the town to quicken the permitting process for mitigation projects, help with grant processes, along with looking into ways to quickly drain Morris Island Road and the marsh system.

A total of 148 properties are represented by the association that have a combined estimated value of $313 million. Those properties bring in around $1.5 million in property taxes to Chatham annually.

“Obviously the owners want to protect the value and we think that the town would want to protect it as well,” Hausner said.

The association is proposing measures be taken to fill gaps in dunes with sand bags and dredged sand, along with purchasing a high-capacity pump and installing catch basins to help pumps work more effectively.

They would also like to see repairs made to Seagull Road which was hit hard by winter storms.

Director of Natural Resources for Chatham Robert Duncanson said with the loss of South Beach and the Fools Day cut the area is now basically open to the open Atlantic Ocean.

“Some of the flooding events here weren’t even necessarily from direct storm impacts,” Duncanson said. “They were offshore storms but they created enough rise in the water elevation because of low pressure that these areas flooded. It’s didn’t have to be necessarily a direct hit from a nor’easter.”

Duncanson said relatively easy short-term solutions include building up the dunes in the area with dredged material or trucked in sand.

Duncanson said the town would need to look into whether it would be more beneficial to just dump sand there or install durabags that would last longer.

After some of the storms the neighborhood attempted to mitigate flooding with sand bags and they did not hold up, according to Duncanson.

Selectmen applauded the work of the association to come together and said the town will continue to talk with them on possible short- or long-term solutions.

About NewsCenter

The award-winning NewsCenter provides the Cape Cod community with a constant, credible source for local news. We are on the job seven days a week.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy