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Hurricane Hermine takes huge bite out Honeymoon Island

Beach erosion is costing taxpayers Millions
Posted at 6:37 PM, Sep 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 18:47:31-04

The "honeymoon" is over on Honeymoon Island.  

Hurricane Hermine took a huge bite out of the beach.

Just four months ago, state and Pinellas County officials spent $4.5 million on a beach re-nourishment project, but Hurricane Hermine took all that sugary white sand and sent it right back into the Gulf of Mexico.

"It's being washed away," says Rodrigo Borlasca who's spending the day surfing the very waves that are obliterating the beach.

MORE | Fix underway for Honeymoon Island

"$4.5 million out to sea," laments John Scott.

This isn't the first time the waves took back the sand from the beach and left taxpayers with the bill.

"Last year, they spent a million dollars.  It was gone in two months," recalls Scott.

He has a few suggestions for the state and county.

"If they are not going to do the re-nourishment correctly, they need to not waste our tax dollars. Spend that money on buying more land to preserve instead of this notion you can correct mother nature."

We should point out beach re-nourishment is not a complete money loser.

The sand attracts tourists, who spend money.

Tourism officials in Pinellas County say the beaches bring in $2.5 million to Honeymoon Island every year.

But what Mother Nature gives, she also takes back.

On a day when Hurricane Hermine swiped Tampa Bay, perhaps the surfers have the best last word for taxpayers.

When we asked a surfer what she was going to do, she replied, "I'm going to eat it!"

Which is exactly what it appears taxpayers are going to have to do again.