The Dec. 23 storm surge flooded Willard Beach, destroyed all the dune grass and stripped 4 feet of sand away. Waves pounded and displaced massive granite blocks from Fort Preble. Bug Light Park’s walkway, benches and boat ramp were inundated and damaged by wind-blown surf.

We are a coastal community; our strongest storms and hurricanes inevitably arrive at our shore. And Bug Light to Willard Beach’s endpoint at Fisherman’s Point is our hurricane alley. Repeatedly, over the decades, this is where our climate change-induced extreme weather damage hits.

With rapid sea-level rise, South Portlanders should rethink elaborate waterfront plans. First, let’s end the push for 180-foot housing towers on a 30-acre brownfield property, which will, regardless of sea wall “improvements,” be regularly, in the coming decades, flooded, eroded and storm-damaged. The cost of sea-level rise and extreme weather protection for existing homes, low-lying tank farms, sewage treatment, stormwater drains, buried gas lines and water mains will be overwhelming.

A massive Yard South development next to Bug Light Park, in South Portland’s hurricane alley, with millions of gallons of gasoline tanks next door, will cause far more problems than it purports to solve.

All future residents be warned: This is not a safe location for your home.

Linden Thigpen
South Portland

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