Nov 02 2012

Hurricane Sandy Means Less Sand for Folly

Three to five feet of sand. That’s how much of Folly Beach that was washed into the Atlantic by Hurricane Sandy. And while 3 to 5 feet might not seem like much, for a beach that fights erosion everyday, a few feet can make a huge difference.

Compared with where Sandy made landfall, the Lowcountry was lucky with minimal rain, wind, and especially high tides. The storm only brushed South Carolina’s coast on its way north. Members of the Army Corps of Engineers were on Folly Beach Monday after the storm passed to survey and measure the beach. They discovered the sandy difference.

“In the grand scheme of things it was a pretty good chunk of beach,” Folly Beach flood plan manager Eric Lutz told The Post and Courier.

Water broke through the sand dunes in several places on Folly, and erosion exposed utility lines at an empty rental property in the 1600 block of Ashley Avenue. But the beach erosion is the primary concern, since sand is more difficult to relocate than power lines. The Army Corp’s more precise GPS measurements will be released soon.

Folly Beach is already working closely with the Army Corp on a beach re-nourishment project to help maintain the barrier island’s stretch of beach. Hurricane Sandy could have increased the price tag, already stretching into the millions of dollars. The project will pump sand from the bottom of the Atlantic onto the beach in order to maintain the shoreline.


Bob Hart Author

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