Wellfleet officials urge caution after sand ‘canyon’ forms at Cahoon Hollow Beach

Wellfleet officials are urging visitors to use caution near the sand dunes on Cahoon Hollow Beach after a Labor Day rain storm caused major erosion.

Cahoon Hollow is not completely closed, but signs are up to warn people of the dangers of the erosion, which formed a small canyon in the beach, said Suzanne Grout Thomas, beach administrator.

“We are not policing the beach,” she said, “just making people aware.”

Continue Reading Below

Four inches of rain poured down on Wellfleet Labor Day weekend, causing the erosion, she said.

Thomas, the town administrator, and the public works department are currently discussing the best way to address the problem. They are not sure if it will be more effective to fix now or after the winter.

“There’s no easy fix to this,” Thomas said. To fill the canyon the town would need to bring in large quantities of sand. Thomas said she was working with dune experts to evaluate other options. But the local conservation committee has a rule that matching sand of the same grain size must be used to fix the erosion, Thomas said.

And there is no guarantee that hauling sand in will permanently fix the problem, Thomas said.

The erosion does not pose a large threat to people walking on the beach, but if a visitor were to drive their car too close to the canyon, the dune could give way under the vehicle’s weight, Thomas said.

Wellfleet’s three other beaches are all running as normal, Thomas said.

Share