FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – Folly Beach leaders say they experienced the worst beach erosion since Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.
The island community is recovering Thursday after high tide mixed with storm surge from Tropical Storm Idalia, causing erosion along the shore and in areas like The Washout.
Folly Beach officials said that in certain areas, a 15-foot outward stretch of dunes was lost, sending sand into the roads.
Orange markings were left on some rocks at The Washout back in 2016 to show erosion left behind after Hurricane Matthew moved through the area. The markers have since been covered up by the dunes. Folly Beach leaders say this is the first time they have seen those markings in years.
Coastal consultant for the City of Folly Beach, Nicole Elko, said the high tides mixed with impacts from Idalia are what caused a lot of the erosion.
“Today, we’re actually more eroded than we were after Hurricane Matthew,” she said. “We measured a nine-and-a-half-foot tide. Then out here on the beachfront, we had surge and wave energy on top of that. And that is what pushed the ocean water over the dunes and through the access points onto the roadways.
Debris could also be seen scattered along the roads and on the shoreline.