Posted on December 14, 2020
OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — With everything that has happened in 2020, Hurricane Isaias may feel like just another blip on the radar. However for the people of Oak Island, its effects are still very apparent.
More than four months after the storm reeked havoc on the town and its beaches some significant progress is being made to repair the dunes. This follows a temporary fix back in September.
“Immediately following Isaias there was an emergency dune push operation where we pushed up some emergency dunes,” said Michael Emory, the town’s communications manager. “This is basically a further building upon that where we’re going to go back and build a larger, healthier dune to try and establish a better protected beach.”
Emory says until now, laws surrounding sea turtle nesting season prevented a full scale restoration from taking place.
The remaining sand leftover after the emergency dune project was pushed into beach accesses and side streets.
“While that has been a little bit of a frustration for some, seeing the piles of sand out there, we have to respect the federal laws that apply,” Emory said.
According to Emory, the cost of the project is based on the exact volume of sand moved and won’t be determined until the project is over.
“It’s anticipated to be around $600,000,” he said. “That is being fronted by the town with the hopeful anticipation of a reimbursement from FEMA sometime next year.”
Crews have already made significant progress on the first pile of sand, and the town expects the project to be completed January 20.
Emory says there could be intermittent closures of beach accesses over the next several weeks, and offers a word of caution to residents and visitors.
“The main thing is we don’t want people trying to get up close or climb on or touch the machinery, or more importantly trying to talk to the workers and kind of distracting them from what they’re trying to do.”
Click here for more information and updates on the project.