Nearshore morphology shifts in a storm. While rock and gravel beaches act as a natural shoreline buffer, they are formed dynamically and continue to re-form during surge and wave events. Rock and gravel beaches react with significant shifts in sediment redistribution, or erosion. In contrast to a calm period, the storm of 2010 highlighted the potential variations in beach morphology, or shoreline evolution all along the variegated shores of the Gaspésie.

Across the municipality of Sainte-Flavie, the tides of Big Waterway shifted the beach landward, towards the narrow strip of ground where homes are located between the shore and Route 132. There are about 900 residents in Sainte-Flavie, it is a close-knit municipality that covers about forty square kilometers, a solid eighty hectares smaller than New York’s Central Park. The ensuing damage is best expressed by the images that the internet provides, and that somehow begin to look like a generic stock image for the state of global floodplain communities. More to the point is the ensuing response, which led to numerous studies that offered a portrait of the storm in charts, graphs, and datasets, the reportage that typically follows an event so costly and widespread. Details were consolidated yearly, as university departments, provincial administrations, and the Federal government included Sainte-Flavie and other towns in lengthy assessments. The published and peer-reviewed risks confirmed what regional homeowners already knew.