By anguillian November 6, 2017 11:15




A visit to East Shoal Bay, Anguilla, has revealed a remarkable level of further erosion of the sand dunes and beach lands by some forty feet as a result of Hurricane Irma.

Much of the damage is concentrated on a portion of the beachfront land owned by the late Mr. Albert Lake; the former site of Gwen’s Barbecue & Grill which has been totally engulfed by the sea and sand; and part of the area adjacent to Serenity Restaurant and Beach Bar (but not including Serenity Villas) owned by Mr. Kenneth Rogers.

Following previous hurricanes, East Shoal Bay has suffered severe erosion with the sea taking away large portions of the area including the beach where visitors once sat and dined at rows of tables and chairs in front Gwen’s Barbecue & Grill. Efforts to save the popular restaurant, over the years, have proven futile despite the placing of boulders and other blockages along the surf.

“Shoal Bay East has taken a beating prior to Hurricane Irma which has really just compounded the erosion,” Mr. Rogers told The Anguillian. “Hurricane Irma has eroded 30-40 feet of the area on my side, and prior to that there was an erosion of about the same size also on my side. It seems to me that this erosion is going to continue, and Anguilla will lose more of the area unless a lot of money is spent to prevent the erosion – either by a retaining wall or something else, but that will not be cheap. I can’t do it. I am not an engineer so I don’t know how it can be done.”

Mr. Rogers, who built his East Shoal Bay property in 1992, continued: “At that time, we had a good 30-40 feet of sand ahead of about 20-30 feet of land,” he recalled. “In other words, we had a lot of vegetation and then beach. We have now lost a good amount of vegetation. On the neighbouring property there was a stretch of coconut palm trees, and now only one of them is left.”

Asked whether he thought his property was significantly threatened, he replied: “Not a whole lot. I can lose quite a bit of my beach, but with the sea coming in, the way I see it is that it would only change the direction of the beach for me because I am right in the corner. Luckily, the erosion seems to be working around me but, yes, I would lose some stuff on the beach, like I lost the beach hut.”

Mr. Rogers cannot say the same thing about the other properties to the west, like Alamanda. He feels that while it might not happen in his life time, eventually the whole of the grey ground, and everything thereon, will be covered by the sea and tons of sand.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rogers is hoping to reopen Serenity Restaurant and Beach Bar, and the 18-bedroom Serenity Villas, on November 5. Luckily, the restaurant and the villas sustained little or no damage by Hurricane Irma.

By anguillian November 6, 2017 11:15


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