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Folly Beach, Isle of Palms Seeking Federal Help For Beaches

Posted on November 13, 2015

Two communities in the Charleston area want help from the federal government to help them restore their beaches after last month’s historic rains in South Carolina.

The Post and Courier reports that Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin has written the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Isle of Palms is seeking help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Folly Beach estimates the storms, which dumped as much as 2 feet of rain in some areas, wiped out about 25 percent of sand poured on the beach in a $30 million beach-restoration project that was completed 18 months ago.

The Isle of Palms, meanwhile, has commissioned a beach survey from a consulting firm to get a better handle on the storm damage.

“The contour of the beach throughout the island changed dramatically and a lot of primary dunes have been lost,” said Mayor Dick Cronin, adding that a lot of the sand that was on the beach seems to have been washed into the surf.

He said the town has not yet heard from FEMA about its request for disaster help.

The Corps of Engineers has ordered a new beach survey along Folly Beach as the first step in determining whether the small beach renourishment project will be funded. Similar small projects were undertaken in 2005 and again in 2007 after storms eroded the beach at Folly.

In his letter, Goodwin noted that half of the vegetation that was planted during the most recent renourishment project was washed away during last month’s storms. And he noted that sand covering limestone rocks that were put along the shoreline to help stabilize the beach has also been washed away.

The town paid $5 million of its own money toward the $30 million project.

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