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N. Topsail Beach uses sandbags to combat severe erosion

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, which are about a quarter mile in length. 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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