Coastal storm eats away sand near Fort Fisher


KURE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Nor’easter winds caused high tides in Kure Beach.

Dunes protecting homes near Fort Fisher were partly washed away, leaving homes exposed to the rising tides.

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“The sand that was here was barely enough to protect our house,” Tom Christianson said.

Tom Christianson and his wife moved back into their Kure Beach home only one month ago after being evacuated during Hurricane Florence. They only called their oceanfront property home two months before the storm struck.

Following a not-so-warm-welcome to the area, the Christiansons were worried by the high tides.

“It came close. Probably within a foot or two of coming over the sand dunes,” Christianson said.

Not all residents were scared by the winds and tides.

“There were surfers out here believe it or not,” he said.

Along with the surfers, the fishermen were out today. They said the nor’easter has impacted much of the coastline.

“It’s been pretty bad. I started fishing up at Fort Fisher and there’s about a four foot shelf,” Ken Coblentz said.

Coblentz says he is worried about the future of Fort Fisher.

“That beach is getting eroded too. It’s a matter of time. Maybe four, five years and it might be closed down,” he said.

Not only is he concerned for the beach, but the homes nearby as well.

“These houses right next to us don’t have much time left it doesn’t look like unless they put up some sand bags,” Coblentz said.

Unfortunately, the residents are unable to do that. The Coquina Rocks sit in front of the homes. The rocks are historic and are federally protected. The protection isn’t the only thing keeping the sand from them. Even if the sand was allowed, it would not stick to the rocks.

“There are sandbags down farther and sandbags in that direction. Here, we’re not allowed to,” Tom Christianson said.

Kure Beach Commissioner Allen Oliver said the town concluded a beach re-nourishment project in May. The projects in New Hanover County are federally funded and are on a three year cycle, so the town does yet not have the next project scheduled.