Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Don't build near an inlet

No, don't build a house near an inlet. Inlets move around. First the sand washes away on one side and builds up on the other, and then the sand washes away on that side and builds back up where it was before. It's hard to predict when all that might happen.

A house at Bogue Inlet where the water is eating away at the land

Some people built houses on the shore at Bogue Inlet at the western end of the barrier island that protects the towns of Morehead City and Swansboro from the Atlantic Ocean. Then the inlet started to shift. Bulldozers were brought in, sand fences were put up to help blowing sand build up where residents wanted it, and now sandbags have been put around some of the houses to keep the waves from washing them away.

These two houses at Bogue Inlet are in real jeopardy.

It's not really working, though. The sea and the waves and the currents are relentless. Storms come along every year, and in some years there are catastrophic hurricanes with destructive winds and storm surges.

The beach at Bogue Inlet is flat now, but it was
probably all sand dunes a decade or two ago.

Before World War II, only the poor people lived on the shore. That was the only land they could afford. People of greater means knew the shore was a dangerous place to build a house. They lived away from the water, especially the ocean.

Inside the inlet, in Bogue Sound, the water is calm, shallow, and marshy.

Now all that has changed. People want to walk out their front door and go swimming. It sounds nice, and if you can afford the insurance I guess it is. But be prepared to kiss your house goodbye when the next big storm rolls in.

The salt marshes make nice patterns in the water.


wcs said...

Pretty pictures of the marsh.

Anonymous said...

It is sad, but I have to wonder how people can be so stupid!

Beautiful photos.