Posted on March 8, 2023
Millions of dollars will be spent to help restore Grand Strand and South Strand beaches that were heavily damaged by Hurricane Ian.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Charleston District announced it’s been given $97 million dollars from The Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act 2023 to repair damages to several beaches in Myrtle Beach, Folly Beach and Pawleys Island.
The projects will be 100% federally funded, with no cost to the sponsor.
“The District is excited to be able to partner with these beach communities to rehabilitate the beaches back to pre-storm conditions where they will once again be able to provide risk reduction to the infrastructure of these beautiful public coastal communities that we all can enjoy,” said Lt. Col Drew Johannes, the District’s Commanding Officer. “The repair of these projects will reduce coastal storm risk and protect the beaches that provide far-reaching economic and recreational opportunities for the entire state of South Carolina.”
To address the extensive beach erosion by Hurricane Ian, $56 million will go toward Grand Strand beaches, which includes North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach and Garden City. The city of North Myrtle Beach announced that $13 million of that funding will be used to restore its beaches.
Mark Kruea, the spokesperson for Myrtle Beach, said repairing the dunes is important safety element when big storms hit.
“It is our first line of defense against a hurricane. It’s designed to take the ocean when it rises up and that’s what it did during Ian. Now, we need to put the beach back,” Kruea said.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that North Myrtle Beach will receive 350,000 cubic yards of sand, Myrtle Beach will receive 650,000 cubic yards of sand and the Surfside Beach and Garden City area will get 500,000 cubic yards of sand. To put this into perspective, that’s about 150,000 dump truckloads from offshore sand sources.
Pawleys Island, which was closest to where Hurricane Ian made landfall, will receive $14 million for emergency rehabilitation. About 200,000 cubic yards of sand will help restore a 1.2-mile section of Pawleys Island. The money will also go toward repairing and replacing sand fencing and vegetation on the dunes.
The Charleston District has already initiated engineering and design needed to complete the repairs, but construction contracts may not be awarded until late summer or early fall for Myrtle Beach and early winter for Pawleys Island.
Kruea said the beach restorations probably won’t begin in Myrtle until 2024.
“It worries us from the potential of, ‘Will we get another hurricane this summer?’ Because again, the beach is there to provide that cushion when the ocean comes with the storm surge, so we’ll see,” Kruea said.
Folly Beach in the Charleston area will receive $27 million for emergency sand replacement due to Hurricanes Ian and Nicole.