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NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Though Hurricane Irene is way behind us, some are still dealing with the aftermath. A condo complex on North Topsail Beach is taking an emergency measure to prevent erosion from destroying homes

Topsail Reef is at the mercy of Mother Nature. The eight buildings, housing 240 homes needed protection from some major erosion, caused by a combination of Hurricane Irene, winter storms and high tides.

“At this point, they didn’t have any option,” says North Topsail Beach town manager Steve Foster. “Also, the [Army] Corps of Engineers generally during the winter does a disposal project up there in the north end, but this did not happen this year because the corps did not have any money.”

The Topsail Reef Homeowners Association elected to sandbag all of the ocean front buildings, at about one million dollars in cost. The temporary fix comes as the Town of North Topsail Beach prepares for an even larger project, the new river inlet channel relocation project, which isn’t expected to start until November.

“It’s supposed to generate 544,000 cubic yards of sand, which is supposed to go 1.7 miles, which will go past the Topsail Reef, which will generate a nice big white beach out there,” Foster says.

Out of the eight buildings in danger, about half are now protected by the sandbags. Workers say it should be about another two to three months until the project is complete.

Foster says that several other properties north of Topsail Reef are also in danger of erosion, but does not believe sandbags are being considered yet.

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8 Comments on "N. Topsail Beach uses sandbags to combat severe erosion"

2015 years 10 months ago

Owners were not smacked @ Topsail Reef with a $4000 assessment and I am not a realtor-not certain what difference this makes to you SCT.

2015 years 10 months ago

Not TRUE at all!!! Water Has NOT been under any or all, four bldgs since 2000. Now,2006-7 would be more accurate.
Also, there was NO assessment to the HOA at Topsail Reef NONE at all!!!

Get your facts straight.

2015 years 10 months ago

go all the way back to Hurricanes Bertha and Fran in 1996. There’s been water lapping at the buildings off and on since then. Water has been under the 4 northern most buildings since around 2000. At least one if not both of the ocean front swimming pools are now hulks or gone due to the erosion.

And so on top of the monthly dues, each owner was smacked with something in excess of $4,000 in special assessments to cover the sand bag cost. Under the circumstances, probably a reasonable expenditure given the alternative.

The town certainly did not want to see the buildings condemned. They represent a major source of property tax dollars to the town and the county.

Why a surprise? The entire island is subject to the ebb and flow of tides. What had once been wide, expansive beaches at the north end, can now be found in Surf City and Topsail Beach.

2015 years 10 months ago

SCT, good to see you are able to post about something relative to where you actually live. The north end of Topsail has been under scrutiny well before Fran and Bertha. Developers were prohibited from building on the north end KNOWING that the natural migration of our barrier islands and inlets is to the south. A few payoffs, some fat pockets, a wave of the wand by the good ol’ boys and BAM, you have condos on the north end. Their plight was known well before Fran and Bertha came along. Those hurricanes were simply exclamation marks on an existing statement. Same scenario with Shell Island resort on Wrightsville. It was all well known well before being constructed!. Look at the north end of Figure Eight, exactly the same scenario. Inlets generally migrate to the south on this portion of the east coast.

Perfect proof that just because you have money, it doesn’t mean you’re very smart OR have any class.

2015 years 10 months ago

The New river Inlet flow is the problem with the north end if the inlet would come out without the turn which was the way it was before the ICW that would take care of the problem, I am a fisherman and use the inlet for my lively hood and the turn and the way it has been dredged is an ongoing problem, which has nothing to do with people having money or being very smart for building there it has more to do with correcting the flow of the water coming out of the new river, so everyone can enjoy the inlet and use it in a safe manner, it is not smart of the army corp of eng. to keep dredging when anyone can look at the photos and see the problem. spend the money to fix it the correct way. Millions of tax payers money have been spent on band aids far less money could have been used to fix it correctley. Look at the jetties on the East Coast that work. Some are used with walkways pinic areas and are big attractions for people to walk out on and fish on. It is easy to complain and say people do not have class please be part of a solution you can make a impact and then you will show class, Thank you

2015 years 10 months ago

We were charged assessments at Topsail Reef for the sandbags totaling $1200 for a 2/2. NOW we are being assessed another $2000 for more bags if the vote passes.

2015 years 10 months ago

Fran and Irene took out the double sand dunes. At high tide and on full moon nights, water was under buildings 1 and 2 in 1996. In fact, did the north end pool not collapse about that time?

In fact, the Association looked into the cost of acquiring the open land across the street and moving the buildings to it. Cost prohibitive.

My only question is whether you still own one or more or are a Realtor trying to market them.

Chris Brown
2015 years 10 months ago

What are the stability limits of this temporary protection – wave conditions, erosion, scour etc?


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