Beach erosion present problems for police patrol - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Beach erosion present problems for police patrol

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Wrightsville beach is getting thinner. The beach is eroding so much that even police are having trouble getting around. Wrightsville beach is getting thinner. The beach is eroding so much that even police are having trouble getting around.

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) – Wrightsville beach is getting thinner. The beach is eroding so much that even police are having trouble getting around.

The half-mile stretch between Henderson and Stone Streets on the south side of Johnnie Mercer's Pier is in need of beach nourishment.

Wrightsville Beach Police Chief Dan House says it's becoming a safety issue, noting that the erosion makes it more difficult for officers to respond to emergency situations.

"You can see right here how far it's eroded up," said House. "We can barely get a vehicle through right now."

When visitors are set up in the police emergency lane, it gets even tougher to navigate.

"There are only a handful of accesses to get our vehicles out here," said House. "So it's key to keep the area open."

During busy holiday weekends, House says the difficulty increases.

"During Fourth of July, driving was very difficult because it was a congested beach, lots of problems out here," said House. "So certainly, I'm concerned that it's shrinking enough that we're not able to get them through."

Luckily, there were no major problems during the Fourth of July, but if the beach isn't fixed soon, House says it's only a matter of time.

"Every second that we're not able to get through, is potentially someone's life," said House.

The Mayor of Wrightsville Beach will meet with representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday to discuss the future of beach nourishment. They hope to put a plan in place by the fall of 2013 or the spring of 2014 at the latest.

Chief Dan House wants to remind beach-goers to stay out of the emergency vehicle lanes which are marked by white posts.

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