HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it will receive funding to help replenish sand along approximately 27 miles of Grand Strand beaches.

This is the first year municipalities will not have to pitch in for beach renourishment. The federal government is funding the entire project along the Grand Strand. Normally, the federal government pays 65% and state and local pays 35%.

“We definitely need it after Hurricane Ian last year,” said Mark Kruea, a spokesman for Myrtle Beach. “It flattened the beaches, flattened the sand dunes.”

Hurricane Ian left parts of the Grand Strand with millions of dollars worth of damage. The strong storm surge destroyed many sand dunes in place to protect beaches, roads and homes.

“The beach is our first line of defense in the event of a hurricane,” Kruea said. “And it did what it was supposed to do during Ian and it protected the property. But it also needs to be replenished every once in a while, mother nature moves sand around and this is our chance to help mother nature along.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District, received $97 million in supplemental funding from the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act to repair damages to several South Carolina beaches.

$56 million of that money will go towards Grand Strand beaches, including Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach.

“Beach renourishment is a structural solution to prevent, to reduce, the risk of [damage] on the infrastructure side, so behind the beach,” said Wes Wilson with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

North Myrtle Beach should get 350,000 cubic yards of sand. Myrtle Beach is estimated to get 650,000 cubic yards of sand. Surfside Beach and Garden City are expected to get 500,000 cubic yards of sand.

It’s the equivalent of about 150,000 dump truck loads from offshore sand sources.

“The beach is our primary natural resource,” Kruea said. “It’s our main recreational resource. It’s our primary driver of the local economy, so keeping the beach healthy, making sure that it’s there for everybody to enjoy, but also to protect us in the event of a hurricane. That’s our top priority.”

A start date of the renourishment has yet to be announced.

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Maya Lockett is a reporter at News13. Maya is from Los Angeles. She joined the News13 team in November 2021. She graduated from Syracuse University. Follow Maya on Twitter and read more of her work here.