SARASOTA (FOX 13) - Sandbags have become a common sight along Lido Beach in Sarasota, after it took a beating from Subtropical Storm Alberto, causing massive erosion.
City officials say part of the coastline is disappearing with the erosion impacting mainly the north and south parts of the beach. They say those areas experienced up to seven feet of sand loss, and declared a state of emergency on Wednesday.
Neighbors have been using sandbags to protect their property from further erosion. There are signs of private property damage and tides are starting to threaten public infrastructure, making concerns even bigger with hurricane season starting on June 1. The risk of another storm could lead to further erosion, and flooding in streets.
Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin told FOX 13 that the emergency declaration was lumped into Governor Scott’s state of emergency -- which was issued in preparation for Alberto -- to help provide aid to private individuals to protect their property. With the state of emergency, the city can provide for government aid, and property owners can double the amount of bagged sand they can put along the beach to protect their property. That’s up to 600 cubic yards.
Another concern is possible damage to natural habitats, which have yet to be evaluated. Endangered bird nests and sea turtle nests could be impacted.