Lido Beach erosion hurting businesses and causing property damage
SARASOTA — Severe erosion and storm surge on Lido Beach from Subtropical Storm Alberto have financially impacted businesses and caused property damage, city officials said a day after declaring a state of emergency for the vanishing beach.
Private properties on Lido Beach sustained some damage from Subtropical Storm Alberto, which battered the shoreline with rough seas and storm surge during Memorial Day weekend, while the concession stand at Lido Beach Pool and Pavilion suffered economic losses, City Manager Tom Barwin said Thursday. Barwin, who declared a state of emergency Wednesday for portions of the beach because of severe erosion, believes other businesses on the island are suffering economically because of the erosion that has prompted patrons to go elsewhere. It’s still too early to quantify the economic losses, Barwin said.
“We have begun to see some property damage. Some of the stairs that access the residential areas down to the beach have been wiped out,” Barwin said of private property damage he witnessed during a walking tour of the beach Wednesday with a Florida Department of Environmental Protection official. “Some brick work has been separated from its foundation on some decking areas.”
“Literally, the ground is being eaten away by the tides during storm situations,” Barwin said of the erosion, adding, “It’s beginning to impact some of the commerce.”
Barwin declared the local emergency Wednesday after already eroded beach areas sustained further losses from Alberto. While other areas of the state experienced severe thunderstorms, widespread rain and tornadoes, the Sarasota-Manatee area was largely spared after dry air inhibited the storm. But the shoreline was still affected by rough seas and storm surge in some areas.