Chatham is at the "elbow" of Cape Cod. Like the various parts of the Cape, it occassionally gets smacked in the ulna by hurricanes or what is locally called Nor'easters. Sometimes these storms are strong enough to do more than just knock out the electricity. They can literally reshape the landscape.
Last week a storm that moved up the coast came on shore near New England. Boston and some of the inland area got mostly rain. However, the Cape took a direct hit. Nauset Beach in Chatham was severely affected as can be seen in these satellite images. We went down there this weekend to take a look for ourselves.
Nauset Beach is a barrier beach (essentially a big sand bar) which runs for miles along the outer edge of Chatham. Some parts of this stretch of "land" has been around long enough that houses have been built on it. Storms have been claiming more and more of the beachfront in recent years. Many of the houses have since been washed away. The remaining ones' days are clearly numbered. The storm last week breached another section of the beach and took out the foundation of two more of the remaining houses.
We were able to see the houses from across the inlet from the mainland. We didn't want to intrude on the folks trying to deal with the wreckage by the driving out to the houses. These sandbars are temporary and will unexpectedly shift. Building on them is literally "building on sand." Those willing to do it will eventually pay the price. Two more houses paid the price this past week, but the front row seats to the Atlantic storms must have been spectacular. [Permalink] - Chatham Storm