Storm could wash away recent beach work

Posted August 26, 2011

— In Kill Devil Hills, the rolling dunes are what draw tourists, and their dollars, to the Outer Banks. The annual influx of visitors is the economic engine that keeps coastal towns viable.

As Hurricane Irene bears down on North Carolina, residents of the Outer Banks are calculating the cost not only of the possible damage to come, but a recent investment as well.

Irene could wash away recent beach work Irene could wash away recent beach work

Nags Head recently completed a $30 million beach renourishment program and could see some of that work washed away if Irene hits with the expected Category 2 strength.

"We're probably going to experience erosion with this hurricane," Dare County Commissioner Warren Judge said. But he said any erosion would have been a bigger threat without the recent renourishment. He called the investment a protection for property owners.

On a mostly empty beach, Jon Jester walked with his son Thursday, enjoying a final day on the beach before they return to Chapel Hill.

"When you renourish, there's always the chance that it's not going to be here if you get a good storm," he acknowleged. "The timing is not the best.

"I think renourishment is about as close as you can come to try to preserve the beach," he said.

Local leaders are constantly spending to rebuild what Mother Nature takes away on the Outer Banks. The return on their investment is the thousands of tourists who will return again for the soft sand.


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  • Mean Old Mom Aug 26, 2011

    A purse with holes.....

  • wildcat Aug 26, 2011

    When you put building of any kind on the beach, what do you expect? A storm of this nature will most likely destroy all that work and more. Why build on the beach anyway, when you stand a great chance of these kind of storms? Don't make sense to me. Out of the material that the homes and building are built out of, it won't take but one puff of strong wind, and it all comes down. Good luck and be safe. Pray.

  • Hater like Darth Vader Aug 26, 2011

    Hatteras not being Galveston isn't a valid argument either. Have you been to the Outer Banks? By Hatteras, I'm assuming you mean Buxton, which is one of the least visited cities in the county. Kill Devil Hills could easily grow to be like Galveston Texas. And by saying you couldn't put Galveston on Hatteras island, you still don't prove your point. OIL DOESN'T HURT TOURISM. It has nothing to do with the area of one city versus another.

  • Hater like Darth Vader Aug 26, 2011

    "Say, have you gotten that NRC license yet for your scope "full of tritium"?"

    I never said this. I was saying that rail sights on Glock handguns are optionally built with Tritium filled cylinders.

  • Hater like Darth Vader Aug 26, 2011

    "Of course hater you are probably one of those people who believe drilling off the coast here would lower gas prices too. Given that, your flawed position on the tourism issue is understandable."


    FALSE!!! I don't think that. Have you never noticed that gas price is the same in SC as here even though we have a much higher gas tax? It's called all the market will bear.

    Don't quit your day job, you won't make it as a psychological profiler.

  • Hater like Darth Vader Aug 26, 2011

    Mpheels, I fully agree, the reason the estuaries in and around the North River are because of our efforts to halt the natural erosion. It's just a hard decision to make at this point. But I fully agree with you, at some point they will have to bite the bullet and let the environment change.

  • Scaramouche Aug 26, 2011

    Of course hater you are probably one of those people who believe drilling off the coast here would lower gas prices too. Given that, your flawed position on the tourism issue is understandable.

  • Scaramouche Aug 26, 2011

    "And also, explain how my insult failed. Why don't you break it down for me?"

    Because it was wholely off the mark. For it to have succeeded you owuld ahve had to at least been shooting in the right direction.

    "I notice you always have an opinion, but you rarely have any reason."

    Once more you are wrong. Yes, I usually have an opinion. I also have reasons for them. You never pay attention is the problem.

    "Is this because you are a fool, or just because you're ignorant and have to regard for the facts?"

    None of the above actually. Nice, failed, try though.

    Say, have you gotten that NRC license yet for your scope "full of tritium"?

  • mpheels Aug 26, 2011

    Hater like Darth Vader - You're right. Complete loss of the barrier islands would be devastating to the sounds. BUT allowing natural erosion to occur does not equal complete loss of the islands. Just as the ocean has been trying to close Oregon inlet, it's been trying open a new inlet in Hatteras for decades. Erosion at one point on the beach is almost always paired with natural growth somewhere else on the beach and/or on the sound side of the island. Our chain of islands survived on it's own without us for centuries. Fighting nature in this scenario is a fool's errand.

  • Scaramouche Aug 26, 2011

    "Hatteras isn't Galveston doesn't make your point valid Scaramouche. Galveston has grown BECAUSE of the oil rigs off their shore."

    Yes, it is a big city. You couldn't put Galveston on Hatterass Island. Galveston grew because of the oil processing facilities, which, once again, you wouldn't be able to put on Hatterass.

    "Your original point was that oil rigs would ruin tourism. My point is that you are a fool for making such an ignorant statement,"

    In your opinion it is ignorant. It is only your opinion though. You seem to get very confused about that.

    "oil rigs can't be seen from the shore usually. Galveston just got oil all over their beaches and guess what? They still sell multi million dollar houses all the time."

    Again, Hatterass isn't Galveston. Something else you seem completely unable to comprehend.