3D laser technology used to survey damage to Folly Beach after brush with Hurricane Arthur

Published: Jul. 9, 2014 at 10:58 PM EDT
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Hurricane Arthur rolls in sending big waves our way just after completing a multi-million dollar project renourishing the sand on Folly Beach.

The beach has seen its fair share of damage. Three years ago Hurricane Irene caused parts of the beach to fall into the ocean.

Wednesday, crews used 3D laser technology to map out any new damage.

The Army Corps of Engineers used an ATV rigged with $75 to $150,000 worth of equipment on it to get the job done.

"What we're doing is we are driving the entire beach length back and forth," said Matthew Foss, chief surveyor.

The most important piece of equipment is a laser that gives them a 3D map of the beach.

Foss and his team say they only need about a day to map out 6 miles of shoreline.

"We can get an accurate assessment before and after a storm to make sure to see how much of the beach has eroided," said Foss.

Foss says they get a 3D image from a laser beam that is sent out and bounces back to their computer system.

Maps are created in hardly any time at all.

Crews say their main goal is to make sure there's enough of it to protect the property along the shoreline.

Project Manager David Warren said, "We think that we're in good shape."

The Army Corps of Engineers just finished a $30 million dollar project pumping sand from the ocean floor onto the beach.

A week ago Hurricane Arthur tossed around a lot of that sand, but the crew is confident they'll find good results.

Warren said, "It looks like it did it's job and it was really not that big of an event."

Crews say all of the data will take about a day to process. From there they will give it to engineers who will determine how much damage, if any was done to the beach. ?

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