This storm season proved to be active for the Town of Holden Beach. We were visited by both Hurricane Florence and Michael, as well as additional recent astrological tide events that produced flooding. The Town lost approximately 257,707 cubic yards of sand in Hurricane Florence in September, with 201,564 cubic yards occurring in the engineered beach area. Post Michael storm analysis shows that we lost approximately 136,087 cubic yards along the shoreline with 90,927 cubic yards occurring in the engineered beach area. Although the beach took a hit with estimated damages for the beach strand currently totaling $7,797,917 for Florence and $5,623,046 for Michael, the Central Reach Project proved invaluable as a storm damage reduction project. It was instrumental in the protection of the dune system and homes along the beachfront. We are working with FEMA on a weekly basis to finalize damage reports in order to qualify for federal and state funding of repairs to the beach strand. As an engineered beach, approval of project damage assessments by FEMA should result in reimbursements of storm damage repairs.
The Town will not be the beneficiary of the Lockwood Folly Inlet/Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Crossing Project this year. Contrary to custom, the Army Corps of Engineers decided to pursue the placement of sand on Oak Island. The Town will continue to engage on areas of inlet dredging and look for opportunities to capitalize on least cost method of disposal as a result of navigation projects in order to place sand on the east end. Brunswick County is currently seeking the Town’s input regarding interest in a deepening and widening project for the Lockwood Folly Inlet that would place approximately 250,000 cubic yards of sand on the east end in the winter of 2019, if dredge plant is readily available to make costs feasible. The Inlet and Beach Protection Board evaluated the project at a special meeting on December 7, 2018 and made recommendations to the Board of Commissioners. The Commissioners reviewed the Inlet and Beach Protection Board’s recommendation at their December 18, 2018 regular meeting. The Town will continue to pursue viable opportunities to place sand on the east end of the island.