Tropical Storm Ana contributes to erosion in Cherry Grove - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Tropical Storm Ana contributes to erosion in Cherry Grove

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CHERRY GROVE, SC (WMBF) - While most of the flooding from Tropical Storm Ana has subsided, the storm has left some lasting damage to the Grand Strand's beaches.

The city of North Myrtle Beach is calling the erosion along Cherry Grove significant. Portions of Windy Hill are also affected, said Pat Dowling, city spokesperson.

"It's progressively getting worse here and it's just terrible now," said Jana Haynes, who lives in Cherry Grove. "We don't have any beach at all. Once the tide comes in, we don't have anything left."

Dowling said the erosion has been an ongoing problem, but it became severe during the past two years. He said Cherry Grove is low-lying and it loses sand faster than the other beaches in North Myrtle Beach.

"The beach is very much more eroded. We've got hardly any sand left," said Sandy Cassella, who lives in Cherry Grove. "It's a shame because it's a family-oriented beach, always has been."

The city has been pushing for interim renourishment to fix the problem, but it's an expensive process. The last renourishment project of 750,000 cubic yards of sand done from 2008 to 2009 cost $10 million in federal, state and city funds. The next project is scheduled for 2018 if the federal budget can fund it then, Dowling said.

Locals aren't the only ones noticing the erosion.

"We have people ask us all the time," said Matt Potts, who works at the Cherry Grove Pier. "They come with brochures with nice 100-foot beaches over here. Then, they come to the beach and they've got to line up in a single file line."

Potts said flooding is also starting to become a problem.

"These houses are going to start being in danger in the next two or three years if they don't get some renourishment out here soon," he said.

Myrtle Beach also had some erosion from the storm, but not as severe as what was seen in North Myrtle Beach, said Mark Kruea, spokesperson for the city of Myrtle Beach.

Horry County's stormwater department assessed the county's beaches and found no beach erosion, said Lisa Bourcier, spokesperson for Horry County.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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