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Old 09-26-2011, 03:18 PM
Location: Morehead City, NC
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What about the inlet itself in regards to boat traffic. Do you folks think it should be maintained or not. Or do you think Oregon Inlet should just close up.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:45 PM
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isn't Oregon Inlet pretty key to the fishing industry- commercial as well as private? I suspect that "letting it go" would put a crimp in a pretty dismal economy, wouldn't it???
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:26 PM
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Hurricane Irene did one heck of a dredging job « The Outer Banks Voice

Roger Bullock, chief of navigation for the Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District, received a phone call from a dredging company soon after Hurricane Irene blew through the Outer Banks.

By then, Bullock had already seen aerial photographs of the storm’s impact on Oregon Inlet.

“If you could do $100 million worth of dredge work in 24 hours like Irene did, that would be something” Bullock recalled saying.

With federal dollars at a premium, the long-term fate of Oregon Inlet remains up in the air. Maintaining an open channel has been fraught with controversy. At one point, Gov. Beverly Perdue offered to throw state money into the mix to get Army Corps dredges working in time for the winter fishing season.

“Irene has bought us some time, that’s for sure,” Bullock said.

In the days after the hurricane, aerial photos showed a wider, deeper channel had been created when the sound-side storm surge exited the narrow opening and rushed out to sea.

“At first, I was excited when I saw the photos, but when the underwater surveys came in, I was a little disappointed” Bullock said.
“It leveled the inlet out more than anything” he continued, rather than cutting a deeper channel.

Even so, Bullock is pleased with the result. As one comes through the fenders protecting the Bonner Bridge pilings, a deep water slough will now allow vessels drafting 9 feet or less to navigate almost straight out, with just a slight east-southeast turn rather than the “hard right” vessels were forced to take as they passed under the bridge.

“That is something that boats have not been able to do in a lot of years.” Bullock said.

Larger boats drawing more than 9 feet will still have to make that hard right eventually. But, for now, they can do so in a channel that maintains its 14-foot depth throughout. In addition, the channel itself has widened.

The “lake area” under the bridge is now gone, and where the lake stood, ocean now meets the sound.

“We went from an elevation of two feet above sea level to a nine-foot depth in that area,” Bullock said.

Besides increasing the navigable waters around the inlet, Bullock also hopes the elimination of the lake will buy even more time in the long run. Since that region of the inlet has been prone to shoaling, Bullock hopes that future storms will dump sand into the former “lake” region first, filling it up before narrowing and then shoaling the main channel.

Bullock has studied the inlet long enough to know how to answer the question: “How much time did Irene buy us?”

He declined to answer with specifics, noting there is no way to predict how a winter of nor’easters and the remainder of the hurricane season will affect the waterway. But he said he believes boaters will be in good shape for this year’s winter offshore fishing season, when the hunt for Bluefin tuna takes place in the deep water, while other boats use the channel in pursuit of striped bass.

“When the spit is no longer plus 2 feet elevation and changes to minus 9 feet deep,” he said, “you gotta believe we bought some time.”
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:47 PM
Location: Winston-Salem
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Guess one could ask the question. If the hurricane in 1846 that opened the inlet would not have occurred. Would we even be talking about this?
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:54 PM
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Leave it be.
As "How to read an NC Beach" and "Ribbons of sand" said, the barrier island system is like a bunch of blocks in front of a toddler, meant to be shifted.

If you keep trying to preserve it, this is like trying to keep a 50 year old looking 30, doesn't do much.
Just leads to more distortions and erosion.
Nature knows best.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:55 PM
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1) How deep is the OI now?

2) If they left OI alone, how soon would it fill and dry out? Would it be just a sandbar or would vegetation grow? Any models and projection of what OI would look like if we left it to nature?
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