With Irene on the way, officials monitor Folly Beach erosion

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - The Army Corps of Engineers is watching Hurricane Irene as it could threaten to erode local beaches even further.

Many parts of Folly Beach are so eroded that several beach access points are closed because of exposed rock.

The projected path of Hurricane Irene continues to shift northeast, but could still impact Folly Beach and other parts of the SC coast, causing more erosion. The National Hurricane Center's newest forecasted path shows the storm's center making landfall near Myrtle Beach or Wilmington, NC.

"We're concerned about high winds and high waves," said Brian Williams, Army Corps of Engineers.

Those waves could wash away even more of Folly's beaches. Every eight years or so, the City of Folly Beach applies for federal money to re nourish the beaches. The next one isn't expected for two more years. Homeowners may have to take matters into their own hands.

"We've seen people install their own seawalls or do their own re nourishment, but you have to get a permit and it's  not cheap," Williams said.

Williams said temporary sandbags could also be an option.

He said a strong storm with a short duration is better than a weak storm that lingers on the coastline.

For now, officials will wait and see what happens with Hurricane Irene, as the storm continues on a path for the southeast U.S.

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