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Moving Company Folly Beach, SC

If you have ever moved to a new house, apartment, or office by yourself, you know how much of a pain it can be. The moving process can be filled with many different emotions. On the one hand, you're probably excited about the new adventure that lies ahead of you. On the other hand, you're probably dreading the heavy lifting, pulling, packing, organizing, and logistical aspects of moving.

At Strong Men Moving, our goal is to remove that dread so you can focus on the fun and productive times ahead. With a team of hardworking, experienced moving professionals on your side, moving to a new home or office is easy, like Sunday morning.

The best part? As local, trusted movers in Folly Beach, you won't have to take a loan out from the bank to pay for our moving services. We believe in hard work, friendly attitudes, efficiency, and fair pricing.

Service Areas

 Local Movers Folly Beach, SC
 Professional Movers Folly Beach, SC

Convenience is King

Strong Men Moving is a full-service moving company in Folly Beach. We run our trucks at 110%, meaning we go above and beyond what other movers in Folly Beach are willing to do.

Are you moving from out of state? Is your new house hard to find? Don't have the time or patience to pack and wrap all of your belongings? Don't sweat it - we've got your back. There's no job that's too large or too small for our strong men to handle, and there's no place in the Lowcountry that we won't go for you.

When we say convenience is king, we mean it.  We're talking nights, weekends, and availability 24-hours a day from Monday through Saturday. Our goal is to make your move as stress-free and simple as possible. That way, you have time to focus on enjoying your new home or office, while we worry about hauling your double vanity into the back of our truck.

When you bring in the Strong Men, you can rest assured that you're getting a full-service, friendly experience from the minute we pull into your driveway to the minute we shake your hand goodbye. Unlike some moving companies in Folly Beach, punctuality is not our poison. We strive to arrive on time to each job that we are hired to perform.

Here are some of the most popular moving services our customers use:

 Packers And Movers Folly Beach, SC

Residential Moving

Along with divorce and the loss of a job, moving is listed as one of the most stressful experiences a person can go through in their lifetime. When you consider the packing, the lifting, the scheduling, and the general disruption that moving can have on your life, it's easy to understand why.

As the premier moving company in Folly Beach, our goal is to carry your moving burden, so you can stay focused on your daily life. You can rest easy knowing our movers in Folly Beach will always show up to your home with a positive attitude, friendly smile, and motivation to work. We treat your property like it was our own and take great care in handling all the items we move for you.

In addition, we prep our team of movers for many situations and provide thorough training on the fundamentals of moving, packing, risk management, and more.

If you own specialty items such as art, antiques, or other valuables, we will take every precaution necessary to ensure your possessions arrive to your new home safe and sound.

Whether you're moving to a new home down the street or are coming from another state, we have the experience, tools, and professional movers to do the job correctly. We even offer additional residential moving services that include packing, unpacking, overnight storage, and much more.

Call or text us today to discover the full range of our residential moving specialties.

 Moving Services Folly Beach, SC

Labor-Only Moving

Do you already have reliable transportation but still need a team of professional movers to handle your heavy lifting? Strong Men Moving now offers labor-only moving services in Folly Beach for both residential and commercial moving projects.

A few benefits of labor-only moving include:

  • Reduce damage - our professional movers in Folly Beach will make sure your belongings are properly loaded into your truck, reducing the probability of damaged or broken items.
  • Maximize Space - With years of experience in the moving industry, we have a sixth sense for space-efficient packing and loading. Our strong men will make the most out of your truck's usable space, which can help reduce trip time and save money on gas.
  • Quicker Moves - A team of Strong Men Moving will almost always be able to load and unload your belongings faster than a group of your friends. It's nothing personal! With our team of professionals, you can spend less time filling up your truck and more time on getting to your new home or office.
  • Save Money - Using your friends to help you move almost certainly means you will have to compensate them one way or another. Why spend your money on cases of beer and pizza when you can use it for a safer, quicker move?
 Movers Folly Beach, SC

Commercial Moving

Folly Beach and the surrounding metropolitan area is a hot spot for business. Dozens of companies scout Folly Beach each year as a new place to call home, where they can broaden their horizons and find new clients. What some businesses do not take into account is the logistics and headaches involved with moving to a new location.

Strong Men Moving has built a reputation as a leader in commercial moving services in Folly Beach. We have the tools, team, and experience necessary to facilitate a smooth move for your business at a reasonable price.

In our experience as a commercial moving company in Folly Beach, we have discovered that it can be complicated to move to a new business location. During this transition, we know that you need:

  • Your office furniture, equipment, and supplies packed and secured safely
  • Storage space
  • A detailed, efficient plan of action to ensure an organized move
  • Minimal disruptions to your day-to-day operations

To make sure we meet the requirements above, we will speak with you at length about your upcoming commercial business relocation. That way, we get a better understanding of the logistics involved. We will also provide you with a free quote, so you can plan your budget ahead of time.

At Strong Men Moving, some common commercial moving services include:

  • Pickup and delivery of your office equipment and supplies
  • Loading and unloading office items
  • Packing and unpacking your office supplies
  • Assembly of your office furniture
  • Provide all necessary moving equipment and packing materials

Whether you have to move a few office chairs down the street or need help transitioning to a new location, we are here to serve.

 Long Distance Moving Company Folly Beach, SC

Refuse Removal and Disposal

Did you find a bunch of unwanted junk after moving to a new office? Do you have an old, stinky couch taking up room in your basement? Don't sweat it - we will remove the old junk from your home or office quicker than you can say, "trash it!"

With Strong Men Moving's refuse removal services, we can haul away all the heavy, unusable items that your trash service won't pick up.

A few common junk removal items that we can remove for you are:

  • Couches
  • Chairs
  • Bed frames
  • Futons
  • Dressers
  • Mattresses
 Long Distance Moving Services Folly Beach, SC

Professional Packing

If you're like most average folks living in the U.S., you probably have hundreds of items lying around your house that need to be packed before you can move to a new home. Packing can be a massive source of frustration, especially for busy families and professionals who don't have the time or patience to pack.

Why risk a sprained back or a throbbing headache when Strong Men Moving can handle all the packing for you? With our professional packing services in Folly Beach, you can sit back and sip some sweet tea while we pack your keepsakes, furniture, electronics, clothes, and more. If you have valuable items like family heirlooms or fragile china, we will take extra care to make sure those items stay safe and unbroken during your upcoming move.

Why hire a moving company in Folly Beach like Strong Men Moving to help you pack? Here's why most of our clients want us to pack for them:

  • Packing is a tedious, time-consuming chore
  • Professional packing minimizes the risk of injury
  • Professional packing reduces the risk of damaged items
  • Professional packing lets you focus on the more important aspects of moving, like setting up HVAC or internet service

Don't have many items to pack this time around? Ask us about our high-quality packing supplies like boxes, tape, furniture pads, and covers. We're here to help in any way that we can!

Moving Company Folly Beach, SC

Cleanout Services

If you have a large-scale cleanout project, we can help with that, too. Our home and commercial cleanout services are great if you need to dispose of a large number of items in a short period of time.

All you have to do is give us a call, and we'll come to your location to remove your unwanted items, taking care not to damage your home or office. Once we have removed your refuse, we'll dispose of it in an environmentally-friendly fashion to help protect the Lowcountry we love so much.

A few common cleanout services in Folly Beach include:

  • Estate cleanouts
  • House cleanouts
  • Basement cleanouts
  • Garage cleanouts
  • Foreclosure cleanouts
  • Apartment cleanouts
  • Office cleanouts
  • Commercial space cleanouts
  • Storage space cleanouts

General Labor Services

Are you working on a project that requires a team of strong laborers? Sometimes, hiring your friends just doesn't cut it. When you need a team that arrives on time, works hard, and does so with a smile, Strong Men Moving has got the help you need! As trusted movers in Folly Beach, we employ seasoned labor professionals that can assist you with your next indoor or outdoor project. Ready to get started? Call or text us today so that we can get a good understanding of your upcoming project, and how our team can save you time, effort, and money.

Get Help Now

About Strong Men Moving

Established in 2019, Strong Men Moving has quickly become a leading moving company in Folly Beach, SC. We have built our reputation on reliability, performance, price, and a positive attitude. We truly feel privileged to serve the residents of South Carolina. Our goal is to provide quality customer service with speed and diligence to all clients. We treat all of our customers the same, whether they hire us for a multi-facility commercial move or just need help loading and unloading a moving truck.

 Local Movers Folly Beach, SC

Strong Men Moving offers service in the following communities and beyond:

  • Bluffton
  • Charleston
  • Columbia
  • Daniel Island
  • Folly Beach
  • Greenville
  • Hanahan
  • Hilton Head Island
  • Isle of Palms
  • James Island
  • Johns Island
  • Kiawah Island
  • Ladson
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Myrtle Beach
  • Nexton
  • North Charleston
  • Seabrook Island
  • Sullivan's Island
  • Summerville
  • West Ashley

Do you have questions?

Need a quote on your upcoming residential or commercial move? We are here to help however
possible. You can reach us via phone at 843-830-6305 or by email at [email protected].

We hope to hear from you soon!

Latest News in Folly Beach, SC

Folly Beach City Council passes ordinance amending short term rentals policies

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) — Tuesday night, Folly Beach City Council passed an ordinance amending the Folly Beach Short Term Rentals policies with a vote of 6-1.Eddie Ellis was the only city council member to vote no.The ordinance means the city will continue to require renters to get a business license and a rental registration permit. Because the ordinance passed, there will now be a fee for rental registration.The amount would vary. A fee per $1,000 of income was presented last night.The city estimates shor...

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) — Tuesday night, Folly Beach City Council passed an ordinance amending the Folly Beach Short Term Rentals policies with a vote of 6-1.

Eddie Ellis was the only city council member to vote no.

The ordinance means the city will continue to require renters to get a business license and a rental registration permit. Because the ordinance passed, there will now be a fee for rental registration.

The amount would vary. A fee per $1,000 of income was presented last night.

The city estimates short term rentals end up costing the city about $1 million in public services and infrastructure, so they are trying to recover some of that cost with the new fee. Money is slated to also go towards hiring staff whose only job is managing short term rental licenses and violations.

As for revoking a license, the proposed ordinance suggested changing the current four strikes over a six-month period to three strikes over the course of a year.

“The strikes are only issued after conviction, so not on ticket or warning. But only if a ticket is written and the person is actually found guilty, then we'll issue a strike. So it's fewer strikes over a longer period, but a higher bar for the strike to be issued," City of Folly Beach Administrator Aaron Pope said.

The city will now require more information about the property, like parking plans. Events at rental properties will now have a limit of 25 people instead of the previous number of 49 people.

Paid parking- another problem that’s plagued Lowcountry beaches all summer- was also discussed during the meeting.

The city of Folly Beach submitted revisions to their parking plan to SCDOT in August 2020. That plan was just returned to the city last month.

At the City Council meeting Tuesday, Director of Public Works Eric Lutz presented the revised pay parking expansion plan. The new plan makes those changes laid out by SCDOT.

Pope said Folly Beach is proud that most of their parking is free, but they are asking to increase the amount of paid parking they have to roughly 33 percent of the front beach parking only.

"That's what paid parking is about. It's not about restricting access or discouraging people from coming. It's about finding ways to balance the costs of providing services," Pope said.

City council will share the plan with the public next. Once the city has received public comment, they will submit the proposed plan and public comments to SCDOT for their final approval.

Only after they approve it, can the city implement it.

Nearshore placement project at Folly Beach proves to be successful, another in the works

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — The Army Corps of Engineers is working to replenish Folly Beach by using what is called a "nearshore placement" project.&...

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — The Army Corps of Engineers is working to replenish Folly Beach by using what is called a "nearshore placement" project.

"You would literally walk off the steps and the water would be underneath the steps. There's no beach at high tide at all, like down by the washout," says Folly Beach visitor Amy Heaton.

Beach replenishment projects are crucial in protecting beaches and buildings on Folly.

"This will help protect the infrastructure of the homes, the businesses behind the beach, as a protective structural measure," says Wes Wilson, project manager with the Army Corps of Engineers in Charleston.

One of the ways to replenish beaches is through a project that has worked before.

"The nearshore placement project is a really innovative approach that the Army Corps is taking to utilize sediment that is being dredged for navigation purposes and to keep the boating channels clear, and then take that sand and help to feed the beaches in a different way than traditional beach nourishment," says Nicole Elko, president of Elko Coastal Consulting.

The last nearshore placement project took place in 2021. The Army Corps of Engineers and City of Folly Beach dredged up 50,000 cubic yards of sand from the Folly River, took it to the northeast end of the beach and dumped it about 200 to 300 yards offshore.

It proved to be successful thanks to the tracer monitoring contract and some colorful markers.

"The contractor used orange and pink dye in some of their sand loads and disposed of it. They sampled it and determined where on the beach those particular deposits landed," says Wilson.

These placement projects come with a lot of benefits.

"It is known to be a lot more environmentally friendly, too. That's one of the things we look for. The three "E's" is engineering, economics and environmental. The economics- that's cheaper; environmentally more friendly; and the engineering is constructible," says Wilson.

Another project is already being designed due to the success of the first. It is projected to wrap up by late spring of 2023.

These projects are federally funded.

Oil spills in ocean, on surfers at Folly Beach

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – Officials say around 8:35 a.m. Wednesday morning, the oil spill was reported near the Folly Beach Pier. News 2 spoke with a beachgoer who says she, along with many others, were covered in oil.Cat Sidwell was on her surfboard when suddenly something fell from above.“Started to smell like oil and it was like real slick all over our skin and board and stuff,” Sidwell said. “And it kind of hit me first. I was like the closer one to the pier.”Soon, other surfers in the ...

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – Officials say around 8:35 a.m. Wednesday morning, the oil spill was reported near the Folly Beach Pier. News 2 spoke with a beachgoer who says she, along with many others, were covered in oil.

Cat Sidwell was on her surfboard when suddenly something fell from above.

“Started to smell like oil and it was like real slick all over our skin and board and stuff,” Sidwell said. “And it kind of hit me first. I was like the closer one to the pier.”

Soon, other surfers in the area felt the oil rain from above as well.

“Everybody was kind of yelling like, ‘Oh my god, we’re all covered in oil,’” Sidwell said. “It smelled, it was super strong.”

Sidwell says they confronted the construction company on the pier about the spill, but says they were dismissive.

“We kind of yelled up to the guys that were working on the pier like, ‘Hey, you’re spilling oil,’” she said. “And they just yelled back something silly, like laughing that it was biodegradable.”

U.S. Coast Guard officials say the spill was from a faulty hydraulic hammer used on site.

“They had spilled three to four gallons of organic hydraulic oil,” U.S. Coast Guard public affairs representative Vincent Moreno said.

Charleston Waterkeeper executive director Andrew Wunderley says the fact that it’s organice is besides the point.

“Biodegradable or not,” Wunderley said, “it’s still hydraulic fluid and it has no place in the ocean. It doesn’t belong in our waterways, it doesn’t belong on the beach and it certainly doesn’t belong on people.”

Wunderley believes the company should have done more to notify beachgoers of the spill.

“We’d like to see, in this case, the responsible party take it a lot more seriously. It sounds like from what we’ve heard that they did a good job of getting it stopped, but they needed to go the next step and warn the public and say, ‘Hey, this just happened you need to stay out of the water. You need to use caution.”

And thinks they should be held accountable.

“The enforcement agencies in this case are the U.S. Coast Guard and DHEC,” Wunderley said, “and what we are calling on them to do is to investigate, and if there is anything out of the ordinary, they need to fine at a significant level in order to prevent this from happening again.”

The U.S. Coast Guard says the spill is contained and the incident is still under investigation.

How to Save S.C.’s Precious Beaches From Hurricanes

In 2018, Folly Beach along with a 26-mile stretch underwent emergency beach renourishment to restore sand lost from Hurricanes. The damage was so bad that the Army Core of Engineers paid for the entire cost of renourishment.(TNS) - The last time a hurricane reached the Grand Strand, it obliterated North Myrtle Beach’s sand dunes and ripped the Cherry Grove Pier in half.That was just two years ag...

In 2018, Folly Beach along with a 26-mile stretch underwent emergency beach renourishment to restore sand lost from Hurricanes. The damage was so bad that the Army Core of Engineers paid for the entire cost of renourishment.

(TNS) - The last time a hurricane reached the Grand Strand, it obliterated North Myrtle Beach’s sand dunes and ripped the Cherry Grove Pier in half.

That was just two years ago.

Repairs after Hurricane Isaias, which was “only” a Category 1 storm, cost millions of dollars. It wasn’t a hurricane that required major evacuations, but it was a sign of how a single storm, even one that isn’t a Hugo or a Katrina, can do massive damage to one of South Carolina’s most precious resources — the beach.

Protecting beaches is a crucial task for federal, state and local officials. Without the sand that defines the Grand Strand, Charleston’s barrier islands or Hilton Head, the state could lose billions of dollars in tourism. Anyone who grew up in South Carolina during the 1970s and 1980s can share how the near-total erosion of Folly Beach devastated that town’s economy and made it a place to avoid.

“The beaches are a very, very valuable resource for the state of South Carolina, for the country, but they’re under very significant and increasing pressures,” said Paul Gayes, executive director of Coastal Carolina University’s Center for Marine & Wetland Studies. “That’s a significant management challenge, and now the question is how long can we can we manage it as we have?”

In 2018, Folly Beach along with a 26-mile stretch of the Grand Strand underwent emergency beach renourishment to restore sand lost from Hurricanes Matthew, Irma and Florence. The damage was so bad that the Army Core of Engineers paid for the entire cost of renourishment. Normally, the federal entity would pay for just 65% of renourishment in the Grand Strand and 85% in Folly Beach. The remaining cost would be passed off to state and local governments.

Sand dunes themselves are important ecological habitats for grasses and other forms of coastal wildlife, but humans have a more selfish reason for maintaining them.

Dunes protect the buildings and infrastructure that sit behind them, particularly by breaking up storm surges, Army Core of Engineers project manager Wes Wilson said.

As storms come in, they bring in particularly strong waves that sometimes have enough force to topple building, wash away cars and toss boats from marinas onto highways.

Sand dunes, for their part, take the first brunt of that force, Gayes said. The strength of the impact of the storm surge depends largely on how fast the waves are moving. If a dune can slow down a powerful wave by even a couple seconds, that can exponentially decrease the water’s force when it makes impact on whatever lies beyond.

“It takes a long time for a dune to recover,” he said. “It may take weeks and months, even years to build a strong, healthy dune system, but a storm can come in and remove that dune in six hours.”

The dunes are strong, but brittle. They sometimes can’t survive more than one major hit.

“If another storm comes in before it’s recovered, it’s not there to do the protective services that was there before,” Gayes said.

Protecting sand dunes and the beaches in front of them is a circular endeavor. Tropical weather and general erosion over time wash away the sand, and governments have to spend millions of dollars to put the sand back, repeatedly. The task sounds futile, but Wilson says it’s worth it.

“After a hurricane has hit, the beaches that have been renourished and have sufficient protection measures such as dunes in place, fare far better than those that have not,” Wilson said.

The process to actually put sand back can be an irritating one for homeowners and visitors unlucky enough to be at the beach when renourishment is happening.

“We always say it’s a short-term inconvenience for a long-term benefit,” Wilson said. “As the contractor’s working in front of your house for a day or two, they can be kind of loud and kind of noisy. But as soon as they move on, within a day or two, you’ve got a brand new beach in front of your home and reduce the risk of damages not only your home, but the structures behind your home.”

There are a lot of reasons beaches erode. The most constant one is a sort of “river of sand” that is perpetually moving from north to south along the East Coast.

This movement causes some beaches to erode and others to grow, though as the sea level rises, the sand frequently disappears into the depths of the ocean, rather than flowing south to, say, Pawleys Island, Hilton Head or Florida.

“Over the long term, we are always losing sediment,” Gayes said. “That’s why we do renourishment, which is putting sand ‘back in the budget’ by artificial means.”

The more noticeable reason for beach erosion tends to be storms, experts say.

Isaias, for example, was particularly notable because of the damage its storm surges did to the low-lying sand dunes of North Myrtle Beach.

The storm surge’s strength came from both the power of the Category 1 hurricane itself but also the fact that it made landfall during the so-called “King Tides.” These appear several times a year and are known as the highest tides seen in the Grand Strand. When the King Tides reach North Myrtle Beach, particularly the Cherry Grove neighborhood, many roads flood, even without any rainfall or tropical weather.

The wind and storm surges that come with tropical storms and hurricanes break up the sand on the beaches and drag it back into the ocean, Gayes said.

Frequently, the sand will return on its own, but hurricanes can interrupt that process.

“It can move off shore enough that it won’t come back,” Gayes said.

This happened notably from 2016 to 2018, when a series of hurricanes — Matthew, Irma and Florence — tore up South Carolina’s beaches.

Their devastation was amplified by the fact that the hurricanes, particularly Matthew and Florence, were preceded by other tropical weather in the weeks leading up to them. That one-two punch left the beaches with no time to recover between storms.

“It’s not always a given storm that comes in that is the particular problem. It’s what’s happened a week or two weeks or 10 days before some of the big flooding events,” Gayes said. “If you’ve had a storm come in and kind of made the beach go away by moving material out of the upper beach and then the next storm comes in — it’s disproportionately more impactful.”

As a result, the Army Core of Engineers spent $60 million on an emergency beach renourishment spanning 26 miles of the Grand Strand and all of Folly Beach . Other parts of the state also had to do emergency renourishments, but the funding came from other sources, such as local accommodations taxes.

That renourishment required 3 million cubic yards of sand — the equivalent of 300,000 dump trucks — to be pumped from deep in the ocean onto the Grand Strand’s beaches alone.

Even a few years later, without any major storms, there is already some visible sand loss, Gayes noted. Garden City in particular, being on the edge of the renourishment project, has several blocks with at-risk structures as the ocean creeps in.

Not all storms do as much damage as Isaias, Florence, Irma and Matthew. A host of factors, from the speed at which a storm makes landfall, whether it’s a direct hit, the strength of the storm and even the direction it makes contact can all influence how badly the beaches are affected, said Victoria Oliva, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Wilmington office.

“The storm surge is tied to the strength of the storm. The stronger the storm, the stronger the winds and the greater the surge,” Oliva said. “The greatest threat as far as surf goes is the stronger storms that are coming head on and pretty much coming head on for quite a while.”

©2022 The State. Visit thestate.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Hurricanes threaten SC’s precious beaches. What can save them before the next big storm hits?

The last time a hurricane reached the Grand Strand, it obliterated North Myrtle Beach’s sand dunes and ripped the Sea Cabin Pier in Cherry Grove in half.That was just two years ago.Repairs after Hurricane Isaias, which was “only” a Category 1 storm, cost millions of dollars. It wasn’t a hurricane that required major evacuations, but it was a sign of how a single storm, even one that isn’t ...

The last time a hurricane reached the Grand Strand, it obliterated North Myrtle Beach’s sand dunes and ripped the Sea Cabin Pier in Cherry Grove in half.

That was just two years ago.

Repairs after Hurricane Isaias, which was “only” a Category 1 storm, cost millions of dollars. It wasn’t a hurricane that required major evacuations, but it was a sign of how a single storm, even one that isn’t a Hugo or a Katrina, can do massive damage to one of South Carolina’s most precious resources — the beach.

Protecting beaches is a crucial task for federal, state and local officials. Without the sand that defines the Grand Strand, Charleston’s barrier islands or Hilton Head, the state could lose billions of dollars in tourism. Anyone who grew up in South Carolina during the 1970s and 1980s can share how the near-total erosion of Folly Beach devastated that town’s economy and made it a place to avoid.

“The beaches are a very, very valuable resource for the state of South Carolina, for the country, but they’re under very significant and increasing pressures,” said Paul Gayes, executive director of Coastal Carolina University’s Center for Marine & Wetland Studies. “That’s a significant management challenge, and now the question is how long can we can we manage it as we have?”

In 2018, Folly Beach along with a 26-mile stretch of the Grand Strand underwent emergency beach renourishment to restore sand lost from Hurricanes Matthew, Irma and Florence. The damage was so bad that the Army Corps of Engineers paid for the entire cost of renourishment. Normally, the federal entity would pay for just 65% of renourishment in the Grand Strand and 85% in Folly Beach. The remaining cost would be passed off to state and local governments.

Sand dunes themselves are important ecological habitats for grasses and other forms of coastal wildlife, but humans have a more selfish reason for maintaining them.

Dunes protect the buildings and infrastructure that sit behind them, particularly by breaking up storm surges, Army Corps of Engineers project manager Wes Wilson said.

As storms come in, they bring in particularly strong waves that sometimes have enough force to topple building, wash away cars and toss boats from marinas onto highways.

Sand dunes, for their part, take the first brunt of that force, Gayes said. The strength of the impact of the storm surge depends largely on how fast the waves are moving. If a dune can slow down a powerful wave by even a couple seconds, that can exponentially decrease the water’s force when it makes impact on whatever lies beyond.

“It takes a long time for a dune to recover,” he said. “It may take weeks and months, even years to build a strong, healthy dune system, but a storm can come in and remove that dune in six hours.”

The dunes are strong, but brittle. They sometimes can’t survive more than one major hit.

“If another storm comes in before it’s recovered, it’s not there to do the protective services that was there before,” Gayes said.

Protecting sand dunes and the beaches in front of them is a circular endeavor. Tropical weather and general erosion over time wash away the sand, and governments have to spend millions of dollars to put the sand back, repeatedly. The task sounds futile, but Wilson says it’s worth it.

“After a hurricane has hit, the beaches that have been renourished and have sufficient protection measures such as dunes in place, fare far better than those that have not,” Wilson said.

The process to actually put sand back can be an irritating one for homeowners and visitors unlucky enough to be at the beach when renourishment is happening.

“We always say it’s a short-term inconvenience for a long-term benefit,” Wilson said. “As the contractor’s working in front of your house for a day or two, they can be kind of loud and kind of noisy. But as soon as they move on, within a day or two, you’ve got a brand new beach in front of your home and reduce the risk of damages not only your home, but the structures behind your home.”

There are a lot of reasons beaches erode. The most constant one is a sort of “river of sand” that is perpetually moving from north to south along the East Coast.

This movement causes some beaches to erode and others to grow, though as the sea level rises, the sand frequently disappears into the depths of the ocean, rather than flowing south to, say, Pawleys Island, Hilton Head or Florida.

“Over the long term, we are always losing sediment,” Gayes said. “That’s why we do renourishment, which is putting sand ‘back in the budget’ by artificial means.”

The more noticeable reason for beach erosion tends to be storms, experts say.

Isaias, for example, was particularly notable because of the damage its storm surges did to the low-lying sand dunes of North Myrtle Beach.

The storm surge’s strength came from both the power of the Category 1 hurricane itself but also the fact that it made landfall during the so-called “King Tides.” These appear several times a year and are known as the highest tides seen in the Grand Strand. When the King Tides reach North Myrtle Beach, particularly the Cherry Grove neighborhood, many roads flood, even without any rainfall or tropical weather.

The wind and storm surges that come with tropical storms and hurricanes break up the sand on the beaches and drag it back into the ocean, Gayes said.

Frequently, the sand will return on its own, but hurricanes can interrupt that process.

“It can move off shore enough that it won’t come back,” Gayes said.

This happened notably from 2016 to 2018, when a series of hurricanes — Matthew, Irma and Florence — tore up South Carolina’s beaches.

Their devastation was amplified by the fact that the hurricanes, particularly Matthew and Florence, were preceded by other tropical weather in the weeks leading up to them. That one-two punch left the beaches with no time to recover between storms.

“It’s not always a given storm that comes in that is the particular problem. It’s what’s happened a week or two weeks or 10 days before some of the big flooding events,” Gayes said. “If you’ve had a storm come in and kind of made the beach go away by moving material out of the upper beach and then the next storm comes in — it’s disproportionately more impactful.”

As a result, the Army Corps of Engineers spent $60 million on an emergency beach renourishment spanning 26 miles of the Grand Strand and all of Folly Beach. Other parts of the state also had to do emergency renourishments, but the funding came from other sources, such as local accommodations taxes.

That renourishment required 3 million cubic yards of sand — the equivalent of 300,000 dump trucks — to be pumped from deep in the ocean onto the Grand Strand’s beaches alone.

Even a few years later, without any major storms, there is already some visible sand loss, Gayes noted. Garden City in particular, being on the edge of the renourishment project, has several blocks with at-risk structures as the ocean creeps in.

Not all storms do as much damage as Isaias, Florence, Irma and Matthew. A host of factors, from the speed at which a storm makes landfall, whether it’s a direct hit, the strength of the storm and even the direction it makes contact can all influence how badly the beaches are affected, said Victoria Oliva, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Wilmington office.

“The storm surge is tied to the strength of the storm. The stronger the storm, the stronger the winds and the greater the surge,” Oliva said. “The greatest threat as far as surf goes is the stronger storms that are coming head on and pretty much coming head on for quite a while.”

This story was originally published September 6, 2022 5:00 AM.

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