The first week of March will be remembered in Sosua as a special one, due to extreme weather in the Atlantic Ocean that led to some major coastal changes ( not only in Sosua, but the whole region and even beyond the Caribbean ). This event kept everyone from using the beaches and boats for about 5 days, left to watch strong tides pound coastal homes and beaches; a very clear sign that building codes must be complied with, or take the losses when you build too close to the sea shore.
As always, these events has its losers and winners. Sosua Beach “sucked” the sand on its Eastern end ( known as the Charamicos ) and moved it to the West side, straight in front of the Sosua Bellamar and Victorian House hotels. This created a larger beach on the Batey district side, making Sosua Bay a winner in the process ( and those hotels ). It is expected that sand returns slowly to the depleted area, but no one knows for certain.
The area that now becomes Armando Beach ( somehow Sosua beaches are named for the land owner`s, such as Imbert and Piergiorgio ) used to be the pier dating back to the 1930`s when Sosua was a banana field loading cargo ships. The pier anchor pillars ( pilotillos ) are now buried, just two still left visible. The sweeping view of the beach make it look very different from what it was just a week ago.
The Facebook video below shows a high perspective from the third floor, Hot Peppers Restaurant at the Bellamar Hotel:
On the other side, Alicia Beach took a hit that virtually erased the new trees that had were planted a few years ago to provide shade for its visitors. The beach is still there, not much in the way of change except for the lost trees.
Casa Marina beach on the other hand lost the public access staircase, and though it still looks like a beautiful beach, there is work to be done to bring it back to resort level; the sand was pushed up, same as in Alicia months ago; as of this writing the works are undergoing, should be completed very soon due to high season travel.
The following beach, Paraside ( East side of Imbert Beach ) has remained underwater since storms Maria and Irma crossed near the island last year. There was progress in nature to bring it back, now backtracked. The beautiful hotel and the building next to it are quickly moving to get repairs done as travelers keep pouring into Sosua for the 2018 high season. Imbert Beach remains, and as far as we know, Infiniti Blu as well.
Further on, Several Sosua beach villas were flooded with dirt from the high tide, but moved really quick to replace pool water and clean up the debris. This event was not a storm, there was no rain or wind; yet it caused amazing changes in the coastal landscape. The Ocean Prediction Center from NOAA provides some insight, see below:
This event had not happened with such scale since we`ve been in Sosua, about 15 years. Climate change can bring about some interesting moods on nature, a lesson to be learned by those who do not respect the building codes that safeguard investment. After a shaky week, Sosua is back to normal and while some lost, there were those that are doing much better. The Sosua villas with oceanfront are now all clean and operational, as owners moved very quickly to get things back to normal.