Windy, rainy weekend worsens erosion in Summer Haven community

Photo from Summer Haven community on Nov. 8, 2021.

Gale force gusts and high surf from a nor’easter has brought more erosion to Summer Haven in southern St. John’s County.

Crews have been working on building back the dunes to keep the water out, but some of that progress was washed away during the nor’easter a week ago.

Ted Clarkson, a resident, said he remembers when Summer Haven Beach was bigger than it is now.

A portion A1A is blocked off, where the dunes have been damaged and storm debris left behind.

Clarkson said that last weekend the water went over the dunes.

Gale force gusts and high surf from a nor’easter has brought more erosion to Summer Haven in southern St. John’s County. Crews have been working on building back the dunes to keep the water out, but some of that progress was washed away during the nor’easter a week ago.

“With all of the storms and hurricanes they’ve gone down, this is the first time it’s been broken on old A1A,” he said.

Clarkson says St. Johns County has been working to build dunes to keep the erosion from worsening. It’s a project that Clarkson says was moving along before last weekend.

Jim Skiles says the conditions post-nor’easter are good for surfing.

“Underneath the water, the sandbar has moved,” Skiles said. “The sandbar works like reefs and the waves break and slow the rush of water on the beach.”

But Skiles says during high tide, there’s not much of a beach in the area.

“The water is hitting the wall and bringing sand, yes, it’s detrimental” he said.

News4Jax has asked the county if it plans on reconstructing the dunes. A request for comment was not returned by time of publication.


About the Author:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.