50,000 cubic yards of sand cleared from Nate on Dauphin Island - FOX10 News | WALA

50,000 cubic yards of sand cleared from Nate on Dauphin Island

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It has been more than two months since Hurricane Nate slammed the Gulf Coast. 

But one part of our area is still cleaning up after the storm.  

Hurricane Nate made landfall October 8th, bringing strong winds and pounding storm surge to Dauphin Island.  

The high waves brought tons of sand from the beach, covering the island's main thoroughfare and side streets.  

Crews on Dauphin Island are still removing the sand from right-a-ways on the west end of the island and putting it back where it belongs.

Mayor Jeff Collier said crews have already moved 50,000 cubic yards of sand and have four to five times that left to go.

Collier said, "What they have to do is bring all the sand that has accumulated along the roadways, bring it to the sifter, sift it to get out any of the impurities, then re-load it and take it out to the beach."    

Collier said the initial cleanup involved getting sand off the main roadways, but crews couldn't begin the bulk of the work until around Thanksgiving when the federal government declared the island a disaster area.  

That freed up federal and state money.  

Some out-of-state visitors on Dauphin Island Monday were surprised to see the sand piled along the roadway.

Karen Shelley of Fort Payne, Alabama, said, "I didn't realize that it had happened and I was really surprised to see the banks as I was driving in.  It was very foggy, but you could still see how tall they were and it was really interesting and amazing to see that."

While cleanup is underway, a 24 hour checkpoint has been set up on the west end of the beach to keep unauthorized people out of the area.   

There's also still work to be done repairing and re-opening the beach on the west end of the island. 

Collier said, "Now the surf zone is up near the roadway, so, we can't have that, so we're going to have to go in and we're going to have to get an engineer to come down and decide how best to shore up the west end of Bienville Boulevard so it's not susceptible to routine storm surges and wave actions."

But while the repair work is going, the island is till open to visitors and residents..  

Summer Husband from Houston, Texas, and her family plan to enjoy their stay.

She said they want to "hang out on the beach, let our kids run around and dig in the sand, and really just kind of hanging out at the houses."

Collier said he hopes the work will be completed in 45 to 60 days.

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