Erosion worsens flooding for Cherry Grove neighborhoods - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Erosion worsens flooding for Cherry Grove neighborhoods

CHERRY GROVE, SC (WMBF) - The recent high tides have left beaches in Cherry Grove even more eroded than they already were after the storms earlier in the month, said Pat Dowling, spokesperson for North Myrtle Beach. If the dunes were intact, neighborhoods along the marsh wouldn't flood.

Sylvia Yard has lived in Cherry Grove for seven years. She said the monthly flooding from high tide is typically minimal and doesn't last very long.

"Nothing like what we've been having lately," Yard said. " It's been under the house, It makes a mess."

She said she's frustrated with the frequency of the flooding.

"We've about had it," Yard said. "We're saying enough is enough already. Dry us out."

The flooding is also inconveniencing Timothy Mark Smith, who has had to park his car at a motel because the road has been flooded. Even at low tide Thursday, inches of water covered the street.

"When it comes up like this, it stays here for at least six hours, so we're without road access for 12 hours a day when this happens," Smith said.

Dowling said there are drainage problems throughout the city right now with the extra high tides.

"It will take time for some areas to go down," he said. "The tides will be with us in gradually diminishing heights through the weekend."

North Myrtle Beach is also working to get beach renourishment funds to decrease the erosion.

The next federal renourishment is scheduled for 2018, but due to the extreme erosion, North Myrtle Beach is looking to secure emergency funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The city is figuring out at how much of the Corps emergency fund has been spent already and if there is any money left to fund renourishment. FEMA won't cover the renourishment, Dowling said.

North Myrtle Beach is also working with Horry County and Myrtle Beach to try to get funding for the Grand Strand-wide renourishment sooner than three years from now.

Beach renourishment is expensive. Dowling said it cost $10 million dollars between federal, state and city funds to renourish North Myrtle Beach back in 2008.

However, Dowling said that's a necessary cost.

"If we do not renourish our beaches along the Grand Strand on a regular basis, the dune systems will fail and structures located on the oceanfront will ultimately fail," he said. "As importantly, we all make our livelihoods either directly or indirectly  from the tourism industry, and the beach is by far the number one attraction for visitors."

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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