GARDEN CITY, S.C. (WBTW) — A Myrtle Beach sand renourishment project is planned to start for North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Garden City and Pawleys Island.
Myrtle Beach recently put up sand fencing around 10 miles of beach to help build up sand dunes until the project begins.
A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told News13 that renourishment is not aimed at making beaches look pretty. Instead, the federal funds and taxpayer dollars being spent are meant to protect the people and infrastructure behind the dunes.
“Hurricane Ian came by last fall. It was barely a category one, but we were all on the wrong side of it,” said Mark Kruea, a Myrtle Beach city spokesperson. “So, the storm surge, which was greater than we expected, flattened the sand dunes and that’s what sand dunes are there for, but we need a beach renourishment.”
The Corps of Engineers said Hurricane Ian did more damage than initially reported, and because of that, the corps will do an emergency renourishment at the cost of the federal government.
Kruea said that typically, the city would have to pay 17.5%.
“We don’t know yet when exactly it’ll occur, next year, could potentially be early 2025 — they’re doing the whole coast of South Carolina,” he said. “So, it depends where we fall in that project and what point they start to get to Myrtle Beach.”
Dudley Patrick, the renourishment project manager, said they are currently working with their partners in the state.
“The sponsors, the nonfederal sponsors have certainly obligations including providing all necessary real estate access, etc. for the construction to begin,” Patrick said.
Patrick said the process they go through is the same from year to year from event to event. The damages and where they happen, however, change based on the nature of the storm.
“National and natural disasters, the congress of the United States . . . and I’m not an expert on the funding stream itself but congress authorizes funds to address damages occurred by these natural disasters,” Patrick said.
Kruea said the crews usually move a block at a time and take about a week per block. The beach is still usable during the renourishment.
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Jackie LiBrizzi is a multimedia journalist at News13. Jackie is originally from Hamilton, New Jersey, and was raised in Piedmont, South Carolina. Jackie joined the News13 team in June 2023 after she graduated as a student-athlete from the University of South Carolina in May 2023. Follow Jackie on X, formerly Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and read more of her work here.