Post-Hugo Beach Restoration in South Carolina

by Timothy W. Kana, Coastal Science & Engineering, Inc, Columbia, United States,
F. David Stevens, Coastal Science & Engineering, Inc, Columbia, United States,
Gered Lennon, Coastal Science & Engineering, Inc, Columbia, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Sediments

Abstract: Hurricane Hugo caused unprecedented damage and extensive beach erosion in South Carolina on 22 September 1989. One week after Hugo, a plan was prepared to push up an emergency dune along 65 miles (105 km) of developed beaches between Folly Beach and North Myrtle Beach. This was the first part of a three-phase project to restore South Carolina beaches. Dune restoration by scraping was successful along shorelines having healthy beaches and dunes before Hugo. However, 20 miles (32 km) of developed coast in the impacted area had a sand deficit and lacked a dry-sand beach prior to the storm. A second phase of the project was therefore implemented to nourish these areas from external sources. Five beach-fill projects were constructed at North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Garden City, and Pawleys Island. Total nourishment volume was 1.25 million cubic yards (950,000 cubic meters). Criteria for these projects included prestorm condition surveys and poststorm profiles indicating volumetric losses. Construction was complete by April 1990. The final phase of the project involved dune revegetation and sand fencing. Total cost of the project was $9.8 million with 60 percent state funding and 40 percent federal funding. Preliminary results indicate the combination of emergency nourishment and natural recovery of the beach profile restored Myrtle Beach to near prestorm conditions by October 1990. North Myrtle Beach had recovered 85 percent of its Hugo losses within one year after the storm. Sand budget data were not available for the other projects at the time of this writing. A network of beach profiles, preexisting volumetric analyses, and data on potential borrow sources was critical to developing emergency dune/beach renourishment plans in a timely manner. Implementation was facilitated by close coordination among federal, state, and local officials.

Subject Headings: Coastal management | Beaches | Ecological restoration | Dunes | Beach nourishment | Sandy soils | Hurricanes and typhoons | Emergency management | South Carolina | North America | United States

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