Expect to see ledges along Nags Head beaches due to the rough surf

A routine coastal storm carved 10-foot erosion cliffs, called escarpments, last summer near Jennette's Pier. [Kari Pugh photo]

Nags Head officials say to not be surprised to see scarps, or ledges, along the beach thanks to the recent strong northeast winds and larger than normal surf.

“This is normal for nourished and non-nourished beaches and can still take place even several years after a nourishment project has been completed,” said town spokesperson Roberta Thuman in an email update on Tuesday.

“However, the scarping is more pronounced now due to the recent nourishment,” Thuman said. “We expect this to continue this week as the northeast winds and high surf are forecast to continue for a few more days.”

Thuman said once the winds shift back to the southwest, the scarps will decrease.

“At the same time, our newly nourished beach will continue to be shaped by waves and currents, and gradually become similar to a natural beach in slope and elevation,” Thuman said.

Watch a time lapse of the beach nourishment project from early Augsut:

Final costs are not yet available, but the $43,022,251 budget covers the cost of a regularly-scheduled beach nourishment maintenance project as well as a Hurricane Matthew public disaster assistance project.

Combining the disaster assistance project with the scheduled maintenance work allowed the Town to reduce expenses associated with project design, equipment mobilization/demobilization, and construction administration and oversight.

The Gulfstream public beach access just south of Jennette’s Pier near Mile Post 16.5 is now fully open.

The installation of sand fencing and sea oats is taking place in Nags Head’s south end. The Juncos Street public beach access is still being used by the sand fencing/sprigging contractor, but the access remains open.

“Once the beach nourishment equipment has been removed from the Forrest Street public beach access near Mile Post 15.5 on about Friday of this week, the parking lot will be re-opened,” Thuman said. “However, the sand fencing contractor will be staging some equipment in that lot, so some parking spots may be unavailable.”

Thuman added that the access has a gentle slope to move equipment on and off the beach and is conveniently located in the project area.

About Sam Walker 333 Articles
Sam Walker is news director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and Classic Rock 92.3. Reach him at sam@obxtoday.com

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