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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News Local Sandy Blows By Southeast NC Leaving Beach Erosion In Her Wake; Northern States Suffer Worse Impact

Sandy Blows By Southeast NC Leaving Beach Erosion In Her Wake; Northern States Suffer Worse Impact

Hurricane Sandy was 100's of miles off shore as she moved north along the Atlantic coast. Strong surf conditions and storm surge lashed at the Riggings Condos in Kure Beach protected only by sand bags. No major damage. (Photo: Joshua Trillizio)

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY - The southeastern North Carolina coast suffered minor beach erosion and very minor property damage compared to previous storms as hurricane Sandy progressed north along the Atlantic coast eventually making landfall along the southern New Jersey shore Monday night. Sandy caused 33 deaths and left millions without power. Wind, storm surge and flood damage was most severe in areas closure to New Jersey and New York  flooding the subway and destroying a portion of the Atlantic City Boardwalk.

According to earthobservatory.nasa.gov Hurricane Sandy made landfall along the southern New Jersey coast on the evening of October 29, 2012. As the storm came ashore, it continued to pack strong wings—roughly 85 miles (140 kilometers) per hour. Tide gauges recorded storm-surge heights of 12.4 feet (3.8 meters) at Kings Point, New York. Sandy’s clouds stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to Chicago. Clusters of lights gave away the locations of some cities throughout the region; but along the East Coast, clouds obscured the lights, many of which were blacked out due to the storm. On October 30, CNN reported that several million customers in multiple states were without electricity.

In North Carolina, property damage was less severe. One man died when a tree fell on his truck. Governor Bev Perdue declared a state of emergency for 24 counties in anticipation of Sandy impacting coastal areas.
Off the coast of North Carolina the tall ship HMS Bounty  sank in rough seas. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 14 crew members from the rough seas. One crew member was located some time later and passed away. The captain was not located at press time and after several days of searching, his body was not recovered. The ship was built in the 1960's and used for filming the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty and most recently in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
In the New Hanover County area, life went on for many without problems. There was noticeable beach erosion but no major property damage.
All New Hanover County Beaches experienced some beach erosion. The most noticeable areas impacted by erosion were in the southern area of Kure Beach, NC.
The Riggings condos have long sat on the edge of a narrow beach protected entirely by sand bags placed there many years ago. Those buildings weathered the storm.
Just north of the Riggings, the Ocean Dunes condo complex watched the strong waves wash away much of the sand their Homeowners Association paid to place on the beach building up a dune system last year.
On Monday those dunes had disappeared in many areas leaving a few feet between the beach and the parking areas under the buildings.
Both Kure Beach and Carolina Beach are due for a beach renourishment project to pump sand on the beach later this year.
On Tuesday Town Building Inspector John Batson said the Army Corp of Engineers - who is planning the project - are planning to visit the area to survey the erosion caused by Sandy to gage what changes will have to be made to the upcoming project.
He said bids from dredging companies seeking to win the contract for the renourishment project were set for opening earlier this week, but are now scheduled for review on Thursday of this week.
Once the Corp of Engineers reviews the bids and selects a contractor, they will issue a schedule detailing when the project will officially begin. That could be as early as this fall or later in the spring.
Batson said Sandy caused erosion, but there was no major damage and certainly less than that witnessed in previous storms.
Town of Carolina Beach:
The United States Congress has authorized a beach nourishment project for the Town of Carolina Beach. It is estimated that this project will cost approximately $7,700,000. Congress has authorized the Federal Government to spend $4,400,000 on this project.
The balance of $3,300,000 will be shared between the State of North Carolina and New Hanover County.
New Hanover County's portion will be approximately $2,120,000 and will be paid from the Room Occupancy Tax (ROT) funds and the State of North Carolina's share will be $1,180,000. The existing permit for this project expires in 2014.
Town of Kure Beach:
The Federal government has authorized a beach nourishment project for the Town of Kure Beach; however, no funding is being provided from either the Federal or state governments.
Therefore, the entire cost of this project would come from local funds. The Town of Carolina Breach has agreed to transfer the state's portion of the Carolina Beach nourishment of $1,180,000 to Kure Beach if the nourishment project at Kure Beach proceeds.
The estimated cost of this project is $6,400,000. The existing permit for this project expires in 2043.
In order to reduce the overall costs, the United States Army Corp of Engineers plans to bid both projects as one. If these projects are bid separately then there could be increased mobilization costs.
Beach nourishment projects stop short of the beach in front of the Riggings condos due to a rare cocina rock formation extending out into the ocean.