By Mike Busch 11-10-2021
Last week we reposted Dr. Flagg’s latest update on Old Inlet where he made the case that the inlet may be closing based on aerial photos and salinity levels in Bellport Bay. If you missed that click here. I went out on Saturday morning to get my first look at what Dr. Flagg described as an extensive ebb (offshore) delta. This is basically a new sandbar building just offshore, channeling water out of the bay west down the beach and bypassing the main channel that used to head directly out to sea. This is the process that could potentially close the inlet. This new channel is very shallow and with the normal east/west littoral drift new sand will build up and eventually connect this bar to the main beach as it moves west.
I checked out the inlet near high tide on Saturday morning and it did not look nearly as bad as feared. When I went back closer to low tide in the afternoon, it was a much different story. The new bar was clearly exposed and appeared to run down the beach several hundred yards. The water where the channel met the ocean appeared only knee-deep. To make matters worse, we have been experiencing much higher tides than normal (King Tides) for the last week or so. Even at low tide the entire delta in the bay was still underwater so the next normal low tide will be revealing. There has been big surf all week so I can only guess what happens next.
On the video above the first 2:15 were filmed at high tide from the east, followed by video taken at low tide from the west.
Page 2 has more high tide images followed by low tide images on Pages 3 and 4