Beach find: Buried cars rise with tide

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This photo taken by trustee Fred Havemeyer was posted March 11 on the Southampton Town Trustees Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SouthamptonTownTrustees) with the heading “Old School Erosion Control.” It went on to say, “Yesterday’s tidal surge revealed a dirty little secret about a period long ago. Before people began using snow fences and Christmas trees to protect beaches, towns used to use old cars as a form of erosion control. These cars were uncovered this weekend on Watermill Beach. Who knows what other buried treasures lie beneath the sand?”

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. – You never know what the tide is going to turn up. Erosion on the Water Mill, N.Y., shore in mid-March turned up a number of old rusted and twisted cars, which — while still intact — had been placed there to build up the dunes decades ago.

Southampton Town Trustee Fred Havemeyer told news reporters, “They started to show on Saturday afternoon [March 10], and by Monday morning they were full-blown exposed.”

A nor’easter moving through the area over three days, plus the perigean tide — the spring tide when the moon is closest to earth — contributed to the erosion, Havemeyer told News Day.

He estimates the cars must have been placed prior to 1984. However, he was not sure if it was a few years prior or a couple decades.

The Southampton Town Trustees’ Facebook page reminds us: “Before people began using snow fences and Christmas trees to protect beaches, towns used to use old cars as a form of erosion control.”

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