The town of Nags Head is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, for help to restore 1.4 million cubic meters of sand along its shoreline after Hurricane Matthew.
Engineers estimate that Nags Head's shoreline has lost almost half the sand from a major beach renourishment project in 2011.
The Coastal Science and Engineering firm oversaw Nags Head's major beach renourishment in 2011. The firm's Tim Kana Hurricane Matthew brought about 4 years worth of sand erosion.
“We'd have to pay for the dredge mobilization and the pumping costs and apply the sand over the entire length of the 2011 project because the entire project was impacted,” he said. “The bottom line is that it would probably be along the line of $18-20 million to do a project of that scale.”
Kana said the town is also considering whether to nourish the beach even further to protect against storm surge.
“The town has determined that they don't want to go back to the conditions of 2011, before the project was done, so they've established this trigger of 50 percent losses as kind of a target time to re-up the project,” he said.