Army Corps of Engineers evaluating Folly Beach erosion after Hurricane Florence

Local News

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD)- Most of the Lowcountry was fortunate to see minimal impacts from Hurricane Florence. However, no matter the size of the storm, beach erosion is a concern. The Army Corps of Engineers conducted an assessment on Folly Beach Tuesday to see how the coastline was impacted during the recent storm.

The Army Corps of Engineers was in the midst of at $10 million beach renourishment project on Folly Beach, but had to pause the project due to Hurricane Florence.

Army Corps Engineer Technician, Chris Wright, says, “Even through we didn’t get hit directly by the storm, Mother Nature and the ocean does strange things. Sometimes she likes to eat sand.”

The sand erosion leaves beach properties vulnerable to storm surge, which is why the Army Corps of Engineers started the renourishment project on Folly Beach.

Army Corps Public Affairs Specialist, Sean McBride, says, “We began this project on Folly Beach a few months ago to put 750,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach to reduce the risk of damage from storms like Florence and we are doing great progress and getting near completion on that, but we had to temporarily pause it for the storm.”

The engineers are concerned Florence may have caused a set back in the project, washing away some of the sand recently dredged from the Folly River and spread along the coast.

Wright says, “What we’re doing today is cross-sections along predetermined lines on the beach so we can determine how much sand was possibly lost during the storm event, Florence. We do surveys before the storm and after the storm so we can determine any damage to see if we can acquire any federal funding for the project.”

Even if some of their work was washed away, the engineers tell News 2 what they’ve done so far already made a difference in the past week.

“The way we look at it is, every cubic yard of sand we were able to put on the beach before Hurricane Florence helped to do its job for protecting the people and infrastructure behind the dunes. The goal with these projects is to reduce the risk of storm surge to that property and the people behind the dunes.”

The Army Corps of Engineers expects to have the results of this assessment on Friday.


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