PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Hurricane Ophelia dumped on some homes in North Topsail Beach seven years ago, but some residents are still dealing with the vestiges and a creeping erosion problem.
While the landscape paints a pretty picture of the beach, some local residents say it desperately needs help. Hurricane weather eroded the beach years ago, and now the water is sneaking higher and higher up.
Some residents say the erosion is about as serious as they've seen in more than a decade. Even on a calm day they say the water is threatening and seeping under structures.
According to Paul Lawlor who has been coming to North Topsail for more than 20 years, the only buffer for protection has also been washed away – dune fencing.
"You've seen it on all the beaches - when the tide comes that high it takes these fences out," explained Lawlor. "The fences have wire and they wash up on the shore. It's dangerous."
Evan Kelly, a relatively new resident to the area, said he's already run into the same problems, but said he's more concerned about all the leftover infrastructure debris.
"Well, I take the dog for a walk on the beach just about every day and if it's low tide you can see all kinds of PVC piping," said Kelly. "Some of it's broken and sharp and you can see electrical wires coming out of the sand sometimes."
Town leaders are making strides toward a beach renourishment project. During a recent Board of Alderman meeting, board members decided with a 3 to 1 vote to proceed with the first phase of a shoreline protection project. They have plans to consider bids from potential contractors.