Can the MB Boardwalk withstand hurricane force winds?

Myrtle Beach, SC - By A.J. Ross - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The new Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is a $6.4 million investment for the city and an even bigger tourist attraction, so can it withstand a major hurricane?

That's the question WMBF News posed to President Mike Wooten of DDC Engineers, the firm hired by the city for the project. Wooten says the 1.2 mile tourist hot spot is able to withstand hurricane force winds of up to 135 mph.

"There was a great deal of thought and consideration given to the design of the boardwalk in relation to hurricane preparation," Wooten explained. "There are just so many different things that apply when a hurricane comes ashore that you never really know until after it's over."

Wooten says state law limits the types of structures that can be built along the ocean, so he and his team did the best they could within the regulations. He says his only concern with the new boardwalk would not be the hurricane force winds, but storm surge.

"If you get a large storm surge on the oceanfront, there isn't much that will withstand that," Wooten said.  "It depends on how a hurricane hits. It depends on whether it hits at high tide or low tide. It depends on the direction of the wind when it hits."

The new boardwalk is insured by the city, and under FEMA guidelines, it would likely qualify to get fully replaced if it were destroyed in a hurricane.

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