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Irene's impact on waterways affects boaters, fisherman

READ MORE: Irene's impact on waterways affects boaters, fisherman

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- Hurricane Irene's had a big impact up the coast from here, but the Coast Guard says our area's beaches were relatively unscathed.

"In terms of Brunswick County, New Hanover County and Pender County, I think fared pretty well," Coast Guard Capt. Anthony Popiel said.

Popiel says Irene was kind to our area's beaches, but still left a mark.

"We've noticed that there is a little rearrangement of the beach areas," he said.

The Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers conducted surveys of area waterways, including the Cape Fear River and inlets.

"We're still conducting assessments, but can bet some will be a little deeper and some will be a little shallower," Popiel said.

Boaters and fishermen from Pleasure Island say the Carolina Beach Inlet has become even more of a problem after Irene.

"The inlet before the storm was in pretty bad shape. Now it's a little bit worse than it was before the storm," charter boat captain Robert Schoonmaker said. "We can still get in and out of it, but we have to work the tides, and it did fill in a little bit more.

Capt. Popiel says additional Coast Guard navigation boats from Florida and South Carolina will help with further assessments and get boat traffic moving again.

"We'll start moving into some of the smaller inlets like Masonboro, Carolina Beach, New Topsail just to see what the (navigation) aides are like and water depths," Popeil said.

The Coast Guard advises all boaters to watch out for debris that has washed into the ocean from the Intracoastal Waterway.

Popiel says the Coast Guard should know more about Irene's affects to our area's waterways in the next week. The Army Corp of Engineers says it will have survey results of beach erosion from Irene tomorrow.

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