Army Corps of Engineers wants your before and after storm photos


NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, NC (WWAY) — As crews work to rebuild dunes in North Topsail Beach, the US Army Corps of Engineers is working on a project of its own.

The federal agency is asking people to submit photos of dunes in North Topsail Beach before and after Hurricane Florence hit.

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Photos show that dunes in some areas were completely wiped out like in front of one of Al Weston’s rental properties. He says this isn’t the first time this has happened.

“This is the second time in 13 years that they’ve been wiped out,” Weston said. “And they always put them back pretty quickly, so yeah, my front yard was about a foot deep in sand, and I had to have a tractor come in and get me access without having to use my four wheel drive to get in my own front yard.”

There have already been close to 60 before and after pictures uploaded to a Facebook group for the Army Corps of Engineers.

Jeff Scott owns a home in North Topsail Beach and submitted some photos online.

“We had 12-foot-high dunes, and they were pretty wide before the storm,” Scott said. “And right in front of where my house is, there’s a little bit left. But further north they’re all gone.”

Army Corps of Engineers Spokesman Hank Heusinkveld says the photos will be used for future analysis by coastal engineers, project managers and geographic information system specialists.

Army Corps of Engineers has completed a preliminary assessment of the amount of sand lost during the storm.

They looked at four federal projects in Carolina, Kure, Wrightsville and Ocean Isle beaches.

Preliminary estimates show Carolina Beach lost around 50,000 cubic yards of sand. Kure Beach lost 30,000. Based on those estimated losses, the corps is looking into federal emergency funding for repairs.

They are still assessing the amount of sand lost at Wrightsville Beach and Ocean Isle.