With coastal communities in New York and New Jersey still reeling from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, the last thing the area needs is another storm. But that's exactly what it might get.
A nor'easter is predicted to potentially hit the East Coast next Wednesday (Nov. 7), and beach erosion experts are concerned about further damage to shorelines devastated by Sandy.
As Sandy came ashore, its record surge and pounding waves tore apart or eroded hundreds of miles of dunes and protective sea walls along the East Coast. Hundreds of homes and buildings, which also provided some protection, were destroyed.
The lack of protective dunes and damage to sea walls could lead to lowlandflooding near the coast, depending on the wind direction and storm surge from the new storm, even one that isn't expected to approach Sandy's strength.
"The beaches and sand dunes are the first line of defense for coastal communities against storm surge and waves. They're going to take the first brunt of the storms," said Hilary Stockdon, a research oceanographer with the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Va.
[Infograpic: Timeline of Sandy's Week of Destruction]