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Water-Related News

Longboat’s beaches withstood Idalia’s surge, but flooding still prevailed. How?

The beaches helped protect Longboat Key's gulf side, but bayfront properties don't share those same protections.

Walking onto the Gulfside Road beach access, a recently unearthed seawall stands out among a row of large rocks.

Before Hurricane Idalia, people may not have even realized there was a seawall buried there.

This was one of the most striking differences in the beach that Longboat Key resident Cyndi Seamon saw after the storm.

Seamon is also vice president of the Longboat Key Turtle Watch. She was on the beach before and after the storm conducting turtle patrols.

Near where she lives on the north end, Seamon said she noticed a lot of the beach was lower and sand moved to the dunes.

“We just noticed how much water the dune system held,” Seamon said. “It’s amazing how well they do.”

Further south, she noticed more of an escarpment, where sand steeply drops between the dune and beach face.

What impressed Seamon, though, was how well the beaches — and the vegetation — did the job of holding up against storm surge.