Posted on April 24, 2023
Starting next week, South Carolina’s top tourist destination will take steps to address its damaged sand dunes and protect its oceanfront properties ahead of this year’s hurricane season.
Myrtle Beach will start replacing sand fencing along its seven miles of beaches to help rebuild its sand dunes which were damaged by Hurricane Ian last fall.
Sand dunes provide a buffer between the ocean and the city’s oceanfront properties and help prevent flooding during storms.
The replaced sand fencing is meant as a placeholder while the city waits for the full renourishment project, which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects to start next year, officials said.
The federal agency could not be reached for comment.
“Right now, there’s nothing protecting the hotels and homes along the beach,” said City Beach Coordinator Anthony Kraemer, regarding the necessity of the project. “If we just got a King Tide, not even a hurricane, right now, the streets would probably be flooded.”
The city’s project is not expected to affect beachgoers. It will start on the south end of the city, and weather could impact how long it takes to finish.
The projected cost of the city’s project was not immediately available. Kraemer and City Manager Jonathan Simons Jr. said they expect the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse the city at least 75 percent of that cost.
Earlier this spring, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded the Grand Strand $56 million for a full beach renourishment to repair the damaged dunes along all 27 miles of coastline. The federal government is completely paying for the renourishment project, city officials said.
Although the project was initially slated to start later this year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has pushed it back to next year, prompting city officials to take this action ahead of the hurricane season, officials said.
With the full renourishment, Myrtle Beach will receive 650,000 cubic yards of sand — equal to 65,000 dump trucks — to repair its dunes. The city’s last beach renourishment took place in 2018, according to officials.
In total, the Palmetto State coastline will receive $97 million in federal funds to replenish the state’s beaches after they were damaged in Hurricane Ian, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.