Wind, rains causing more erosion concerns on Folly Beach

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - Erosion may be to blame for a collapsed wooden walkway Monday at the Washout on Folly Beach. It is the same walkway that had been repaired previously because of damage from Hurricane Irene.

Folly Beach officials say they will inspect after the rain stops to determine if erosion played a role in damaging the structure.

Wind and rain this week is causing big concerns for some homeowners too. Construction crews were called out to a home on the west end of the beach to help protect it from damage.

In the early afternoon it was low tide on Folly Beach, but for some it may look more like high tide as weather erosion has washed much of the beach away.

"As the years go by you have different storms that come through," lifelong resident DJ Rich said. "Different storm surges that come through. The beach erosion gets massive with each one. The higher the winds the higher the beach erosion. The higher the surf advisories, the higher the beach erosion."

Construction crews were called out to one home near the Folly Beach County Park for a minor renourishment on the beach to help protect the property. Minor renourishment can include moving extra sand onto the beach or bringing in sandbags.

The State's Health Department Office of Coastal Resource Management says in order for anyone to renourish the beach near their homes, they must get a permit, which are issued by the OCRM or local municipalities when they determine an "emergency condition" exists.

"If wave action is coming within ten feet of an inhabitable structure, the state or local official may determine that an emergency condition exists," OCRM spokesman Dan Burger said.

Folly Beach property owner and council member DJ Rich says the concern for his personal property isn't too bad right now, but he hopes a beach renourishment project will come through for the whole beach in the future.

"We are on schedule for renourishment as long as federal funding comes through through the Army Corps of Engineers. As long as that happens by 2013, we should be just fine. If that were not to happen for any reason, then we need to start looking at other options," Rich said.

Folly Beach officials say they are closely monitoring during this weather to see if it does affect the beach. They say the worst erosion usually takes place at the east and west ends of the beach.

The mayor expects measurements of the beach to be taken after the rain stops to see if there was any impact.

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