A few weeks ago we had the much ballyhooed King Tides and since we live in a small southern Maine beach community, we took the many warnings seriously. Those King Tides could well be a problem, after all, and we wondered how our beautiful sandy beach and its dunes protecting fragile wet lands beyond would do with these highest tides of the year.
Moreover, one of our popular restaurants on the beach parking lot had burned about 18 months ago and the family who owned it was just beginning to rebuild. Would all their work be damaged?
Weather forecasters warned us that we might have coastal flooding, and the morning of the king tide we watched to see if our beach parking lot would flood or the main beach ramp and nearby sand would be underwater. Already some beach around the base of our parking lot disappears for an hour or so at the highest monthly tides.
The King Tide came in that late morning and left enough beach dry during that ultra high tide of some 11 ½ feet for those who wanted to use the main beach ramp to walk onto the beach without getting wet. Waves did not wash over our beach parking lot or dampen the new restaurant construction.
A few hours later we walked the beach and found it to be in magnificent shape. We have a few folks in town who want to spend a fortune to dump more sand in front of the beach parking lot for the summer tourists at high tide at a cost of around a million dollars every year or two, while 90 % of our beach is actually adding sand naturally.
This “beach nourishment” could last just a few days if we had one of those Mother’s Day or Patriot’s Day storms we had a few years ago. At best the extra sand would last a year, maybe two.
So we were glad that even the highest tide of the year still left dry beach for towns people, tourists and swimmers and relieved that our beach seems to have more sand than we have seen in a dog’s age.