NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC-     Tropical Storm Ana left the Grand Strand Sunday, taking a piece of the beach with her. The Cherry Grove area lost 4-5 feet of sand from the dunes, according to Mayor Marilyn Hatley.

The last beach re-nourishment took place in 2008. The project covered over 8 miles of beach and distributed 750,000 cubic yards of sand.

“Most of the sand placed in that area of Cherry Grove is gone,” said North Myrtle Beach spokesperson Pat Dowling.

Dowling said erosion has a direct impact on the economy because the beach is the number one attraction. If the beach is shrinking, he said people might choose to go elsewhere.

The area is due for another re-nourishment in 2018, but Hatley said she doesn’t want to wait that long.

“We’re asking the governor to declare an emergency situation,” said Hatley.

Beach re-nourishment is almost entirely funded by federal and state governments with a little help from the city. Congressman Tom Rice got a first hand look at the damage on Sunday.

“We certainly want to get them all of the help we can,” said Rice. “There’s not a lot of extra money flying around Washington right now. If we can find some emergency funds, we’ll certainly try to do that.”

Mayor Hatley said they’ll continue to work with legislators and lobbyist to come up with funding. She said the first step is paying for the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a study in Cherry Grove.

“Unless we get re-nourishment….I don’t know. It’s going to be a real crowded beach,” stated Hatley.

Sea walls and sand bags are illegal in South Carolina, according to Dowling. He raid re-nourishment is the only solution to erosion.