In the past few days I've seen a few different articles on the Internet about the new inlet created by Hurricane Sandy on Fire Island New York. Thankfully it happened Ina wildlife refugee area and there were no homes destroyed at this section. If you didn't know Fire Island, like many coastal areas of the east coast is a barrier island. A barrier island is a small strip of land that parallels the main coast. It is a transitional environment that changes with constant beach erosion and storms. In fact the islands actually move depending on how currents move the sand. Basically the islands are giant sandbars that have grown to a point that they don't go underwater at high tide. With that said it is a favorite beach vacation spot up and down the east coast of America. This created a building boom which has made these island less transitional and more manmade which means they are having a more difficult time moving and transitioning with storms. The break seen below is actually a very common and normal occurrence in regards to a barrier island environment.
As much as I enjoy vacationing on barrier islands like Ocean City, MD my knowledge of their environment and the weather that contributes to the transitioning environment
Tells me that these islands are not places where people should be living!
The below link is where I found the before and after photos of the break at Fire Island.