We had a SS snowbird on the news tonight. Mr Snowbird has a first floor condo on the backside of a beachfront building. So his sliding patio door and his neighbors' patio doors are right at the top of a sand dune, with a small patch of cement patio in between. He wants more sand on the dunes, to protect his condo from hurricanes. He said he doesn't expect protection from a 28 foot swell, but at least from a 5 to 10 foot swell. And he is worried his condo won't be protected from a category 4 or 5 hurricane if the dune isn't built up with more sand. The Army Corp of Engineers regularly builds the dunes back up with more sand, but they can only do so much. It's just a fact of life here that 1st floor beach view = you will eventually deal with a hurricane evacuation & come home to a mess, no matter how much sand gets piled up.
Coming from a native gulf coaster - The man is a grade A idiot. Anyone with beach front property should assume even in a Cat 2 or 3 - you won't have property after the storm. In Texas it will belong to the citizens of Texas*, because the dunes are going to behind your former structure. (There was one guy on Pirate's beach after Alicia, who as soon as the Galveston causeway open came over with a trailer of native beach plants and planted them along what had been his property line. When the let the dunes stabilize period was over he had enough dunes and beach in front of his property that his house stood while pretty much the rest of his row was knocked down. )
Now if you and this guy are counting floors American style and 1st floor means ground floor - this guy is a triple star grade A idiot - because the storm surge is going straight through his condo.
Went and reread - he expects only a 5 - 10 foot storm surge in a Cat 4 or 5
. I would expect the next cat 4 or 5 to surge right over Galveston/Surfside and the other Texas beaches I'm familiar with. I'm north/west side of Houston Cat 4 or 5 I'm out of here and we didn't even flood during Ike or TS Allison (Allison wasn't a hurricane but it sat over us and lots places that "never" flood flooded)