COASTAL OBSERVER: Neighborhood will haul in sand as erosion threatens homes

“There’s help on the way for owners of beachfront houses in Inlet Harbor on the south end of Garden City.

The Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit this week allowing the owners of property damaged by erosion this fall to bring in truckloads of sand between their threatened houses and the pounding surf...

…While scraping sand from the beach provides some short-term relief from erosion, it’s not really a solution, according to Lee Hewitt, owner of Garden City Realty and a member of the board of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

‘Sand scraping is not ideal,’ said Hewitt, who is running for the state House of Representatives from District 108. ‘What you want is a sloped beach to allow the wave energy to dissipate over a wide area. When you scrape, the wave hits the dune harder because there’s nothing there to take away the energy of that wave. The solution makes the problem worse.’

October is the scheduled date for dredging the Murrells Inlet channel. Tons of beach sand are filling in the channel. Hewitt said clearance into the harbor is about 4 feet at low tide, and the fishing boats draw about 4 feet. The inlet dredging would solve both problems, he said, because the spoils would be pure sand.”

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