Surf City halts dune restoration project before completion

Surf City halts dune restoration project before completion

SURF CITY, NC (WECT) - Work to rebuild sand dunes damaged during Hurricane Florence came to a stop in Surf City.

Surf City announced on Tuesday that the project is paused because beach restoration can not be done during the summer months due to the Endangered Species Act.

Hurricane Florence critically damaged the town’s coast line in September 2018. Work began in February on a sand haul project to fix the damage and create new dunes. The town, though, ran into some issues that slowed down the project.

“We would have been done before May 1 if we would not have had to start sifting,” says Mayor Doug Medlin. “The sifting came in because someone was complaining about rocks in the sand and there is not set criteria for putting sand in the dune.”

The town’s original plan was to have the sand haul complete at the end of April but it missed that deadline.

The town provided about 80 percent of the beach with new sand for the dunes. Some homeowners who didn’t receive sand will have to wait until the fall.

“Unfortunately, a couple days ago, I saw the guys finally get here and they had a May 1 moratorium and I asked the guys if they would get to my house and they stopped one house before mine," says Tate Tucker, a beachfront resident of Surf City. "They’ve just called it quits.”

In the fall months, the town will do a complete beach renourishment project in conjunction with Topsail Beach.

Town staff, Topsail Island Shoreline Protection Committee, TI Coastal and the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center attempted to extend the time of the project.

Copyright 2019 WECT. All rights reserved.