The Town suffered significant beach erosion during Hurricane Florence. Fortunately, there were no dune breaches, and the bulk of primary dunes remain intact, however, the smaller incipient dunes and the recreational beach areas were flattened, resulting in the displacement of a significant sand volume offshore. Post-Florence beach profile survey work has already been completed, and this data will be analyzed by coastal engineers in October. After the volume of sand lost as a result of Hurricane Florence is determined, the Town will submit a claim for FEMA assistance to replace the lost sand.
The Town and County had been actively planning a significant beach nourishment project for eastern Emerald Isle that was scheduled for construction this coming winter. Ironically, the bid solicitation for this work was scheduled to be released shortly after Hurricane Florence impacted Emerald Isle. Because of the significant beach erosion caused by Hurricane Florence, the bid solicitation has been delayed until the actual Florence losses are determined. The Town will need to consider various issues, including the actual sand volume lost, the likely expansion of the project area in Emerald Isle, permit issues, timing issues, dredge availability, the typical April 30 permit deadline to complete these projects, and FEMA input in finalizing the construction scope and schedule. A decision on the revised scope and schedule of the beach nourishment project will be made in late October.
The Town will be working hard to secure a beach nourishment contractor to complete a meaningful beach nourishment project in Emerald Isle this winter, however, depending on the resolution of these issues, it may be necessary to delay nourishment until winter 2019-2020. The Town does NOT want to delay the project, and will be working hard to construct a project this coming winter. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.