Emergency federal beach renourishment funding could still come to Myrtle Beach

Emergency federal beach renourishment funding could still come to Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Congress and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is still considering providing emergency funding to the City of Myrtle Beach that would renourish the area beaches.

Surfside Beach and North Myrtle Beach have already been approved for emergency funding.

The need for federal money comes from Hurricane Matthew damage.

Jim Alford manages a beachfront store called Ocean Water Sports on 4th Ave S. and he says the area was hit very badly by the storm.

"We lost millions and millions of cubic tons of sand in the last storm and really the season before as well," said Alford.

Before the storm, there were high dunes built next to his business to protect his building as well as others.

Hurricane Matthew blew that sand away and now there are some areas that have no dunes at all.

Alford believes that without emergency funding, the tourism industry of Myrtle Beach would suffer.

"The main attraction for Myrtle Beach is the beach... and without any of the sand here, we lose the attraction, we lose the revenue, and over time it's really going to hurt the economy," said Alford.

The city is entering its busy season and Alford worries that if the beaches are left as they are, businesses will struggle.

Spokesperson for the city of Myrtle Beach Mark Kruea also stated that the beaches need immediate help.

"We absolutely have damage that needs to be repaired,"' said Kruea.

Typically, the city of Myrtle Beach receives federal funding to renourish the beaches every ten years.

Currently, the city has one more year to go before it would receive the next installment, however, because of the recent hurricane, Kruea says the city can't wait that long.

"We need renourishment now as opposed to waiting another year," said Kruea.

The city has applied for the emergency funding through congress and is waiting on approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Kruea says because resources and equipment will already be in the area to renourish Surfside Beach and North Myrtle Beach, it would save the federal government time and mobilization costs to go ahead and renourish Myrtle Beach as well.

"It would make sense if the other two beaches are going to get renourishment now- while the equipment is here- do it, and you'd save some mobilization cost, so hopefully the corps will take all of that into consideration," said Kruea.

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