Parking lot washing away, sandbags to come

NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, NC (WWAY) — North Topsail Beach town leaders are preparing an emergency plan for fast moving erosion on the north end.

Piece by piece it’s washing away, but earlier this year, it was a the brand new parking lot on River Road in North Topsail Beach.

“It was absolutely gorgeous,” Holly Ridge resident Terrence Summers said. “It was just built and it had a walk way and steps to go down.”

When Summers brought his family out to see it, he was shocked.

“It’s gone,” Summers said.

Town Manager Stuart Turille said this lot is one of four parking lots that were built with the help of a grant. He said when they went to build this lot a year ago, the situation was very different.

“We had a much wider riparian beach fronting the lot,” Turille said. “There was a strong dune. It just shows you how rapidly situations change in the area.”

Homeowner Joann McDermon has been taking pictures of that fast change.

“It’s getting worse day by day,” McDermon said.

That is why the town is getting emergency sands bags, but it’s going to cost more than $350,000.

“I personally think the parking lot should just go, that we are wasting money if we are saving that parking lot,” McDermon said.

McDermon said it never should have been built. She said the town should focus on saving the homes at the north end and let the parking lot go.  According to meeting notes, if the town does nothing then they would be responsible for removing the asphalt costing about $100,000.

Turille said while he wants to understand what is causing this, that is not his job.

“But to offer solutions that will have the most impact in protecting our community,” Turille said.

While differing opinions float around about what the right solution is, visitors and locals alike hope the pieces of this island stop floating away.

Turille said construction for the sandbags will start either this week or Monday depending on the weather and tides. He also said the Board of Aldermen is pursuing a study for a terminal groin.

Categories: Local, News, Pender

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