Long Beach status: sand creeps back, no stairs, more damage at seawall and walkway

Photo journal documenting rapid damage and repairs post trio of winter storms as of May 2018.

sunrise_ May 2018_flawed and beautiful Long Beach seawall promenade Gloucester Rockport Ma  ©c ryan.jpg


is creeping back, truly. (view looking across to Gloucester side) 

sand creeping back Long Beach Mass after winter storms May 16 2018 ©c ryan.jpg

(sand migrating back- view looking to Rockport– see 2017 post about  Long Beach annual shifting sands )

Sand migrates back center of Long Beach MA - even with winter storm erosion- 20180516- ©c Ryan.jpg

beach erosion was significant

Damage continues

Spring tides slam the Long Beach seawall.

photo: A tree tossed up like a toothpick atop the rip rap helps to illustrate the ocean’s twice daily whollops.

tree tossed up like toothpick_May 16 2018 Long Beach Mass-strong high tides twice daily ©c ryan.jpg

vulnerable spots clearly visible to the naked eye (I marked up two with red lines)

weak spots Long Beach seawall damage May 18 2018 _©c ryan.jpg


When the seawall opened up and heavy concrete sections balanced like hanging chads or individual playing cards, I was not surprised. The massive promenade had shown signs of strain.  Small fissures and tiny holes were noticeable before the winter storms accelerated its decline. Water finds a way in at high tides. The manmade wall is noticeably shifting and rumbling at a greater pace. Holes, cracks and breaks along the seawall expand, and new ones erupt. I can’t help conjuring up comparisons to Yellowstone’s boiling and unpredictable surface.  I imagine stakeholders are mapping details of their immediate landscape. Though beaten down, the promenade is walkable and sturdy. Tiny holes do expand rather alarmingly.

example –

and another (filled)- the cone eventually dropped beneath the path


more photos (before-afters, repairs, boulder pyres, stairs or lack thereof, and nuisance popples) and videos of  seawall ramparts giant boulder shuffle


Rockport DPW is out there, that’s for sure.

April 17, 20, and 27 2018

railing bowed out (after sinkhole emergency repairs)


White spray paint

I’m not sure what the new white spray paint markings indicate but they do space out to the width of the repaired section. Perhaps they’ll dig back to the white lines and fill in.

Boulder Pyres

There are a few bare rip rap patches because Rockport DPW shifted boulders as a bulwark against seawall collapse.


Most of the boulders they used were trucked to the Gloucester entrance near Cape Ann Motor Inn,  laboriously shuffled to heavy equipment, then raced and placed to beat the incoming tides.


Beach access is at either end. There are NO functioning pedestrian staircases along its breadth. People hop the caution tape on the few lurched remainders.

Emergency repairs included new stairs up to the seawall on the Gloucester side. Rumors suggest they were installed via a Federal Emergency grant, Rockport DPW or Gloucester DPW. (I can confirm that it wasn’t Gloucester DPW.) They were roughed up immediately.

Nuisance Pebbles

Popples from the destroyed barrier between Long Beach and Pebble Beach landed on the sands at Long Beach outer edges and tucked into the rip rap. On the Rockport end they dissipate by 106 Long Beach. Will they string out like a necklace the entire length of the beach? Mother nature is unpredictable.

barrier wall breakdown Long Beach_©c ryan 20180516_053226.jpg

Pass at own risk Long Beach seawall after winter storms May 2 2018 ©c ryan.jpg

Long Beach seawall walkway after winter storms May 2018 spotting the new peek throughs  ©c ryan.jpg
little holes seem menacing in a way they hadn’t pre 2018 winter storms

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