North Myrtle Beach and Horry County officials met with the Army Corps, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Tim Scott, and Congressman Tom Rice on October 3 in Washington to talk about the Myrtle Beach Shore Protection Project.
They requested a reevaluation of the Myrtle Beach Shore Protection Project, the Grand Strand’s continuing federal beach renourishment project.
The Myrtle Beach Shore Protection Project covers three reaches: Reach 1 (North Myrtle Beach), Reach 2 (Myrtle Beach), and Reach 3 (Surfside Beach/Garden City).
This project provides for periodic beach renourishment to provide shore protection to the Grand Strand, one of the nation’s most popular tourist destinations (17.9 million visitors annually).
The Myrtle Beach Shore Protection Project by the Army Corps was damaged repeatedly through erosion and rainfall in recent years by Hurricanes Joaquin (2015), Matthew (2016), Irma (2017), Florence and Michael (2018), and Hurricane Dorian (2019).
Joaquin’s damage to the sand that provides protection to people, buildings and public infrastructure was severe. Within a year, Matthew’s damage exacerbated Joaquin’s damage.
As repairs from Joaquin and Matthew were underway, Irma caused the loss of 1.4 million cubic yards of sand. The Corps returned post-storm to bring the beaches back to their design template.
Hurricanes Florence and Michael caused severe erosion, replaced in 2019 by Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies funds appropriated in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019.
Only a few months after repair, Hurricane Dorian damaged the beaches.
According to the officials, the original project specifications may no longer provide an adequate level of protection for the Grand Strand’s beaches.
Horry County and the Cities that make up the Grand Strand Coastal Alliance submitted letters to USACE requesting an increase of the Corps General Investigations account to provide enough funding to conduct a General Revaluation Report (GRR) for the project.