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Old 04-07-2015, 04:12 PM
 
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I am amazed at all the posts about relocating to this area! I've visited the Emerald Isle/Atlantic Beach, NC area as well as Topsail/Surf City and enjoyed both locations.

Question though of beach erosion. I had read a thread about North Topsail having problems with this. Do the other areas there have the same problem where the beach basically disappears?

Any advice on which is less touristy?
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Old 04-07-2015, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Southport
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Are your questions only about the beaches you specifically mention? Or are you asking about all NC beaches?
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Old 04-07-2015, 04:29 PM
 
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Mainly the beaches in that area, that's the area I'm most leaning towards moving initially.
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Old 04-07-2015, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Southport
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I would say Emerald Isle is the most touristy, and Surf City the least, with Topsail and Atlantic in the middle, although even EI isn't nearly as touristy as Myrtle Beach, for example.

I'm not aware of any specific erosion problems on EI/AB, but barrier islands are very unstable, in geologic terms. There is an inherent risk with any such island anywhere. I'm sure someone with more detailed local knowledge will chime in.

Last edited by carolinadawg2; 04-07-2015 at 05:40 PM..
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Old 04-07-2015, 05:35 PM
 
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If you look at this coastal map, most of the NC coast is eroding (some areas up to 2 feet per year). There are some very small areas that experience accretion (Bird Island/Sunset Beach being one).

NCDENR - Oceanfront Construction Setback & Erosion Rates

Couple of years ago, the National Park Service had the Hatteras Lighthouse moved away from the water 2900 feet. Huge Project!
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stbonita View Post
I am amazed at all the posts about relocating to this area! I've visited the Emerald Isle/Atlantic Beach, NC area as well as Topsail/Surf City and enjoyed both locations.

Question though of beach erosion. I had read a thread about North Topsail having problems with this. Do the other areas there have the same problem where the beach basically disappears?

Any advice on which is less touristy?
North Topsail is not at all touristy, but I don't think I would buy there because of the erosion problems. I'd suggest buying a few miles inland rather than anywhere on the beach. Here in Sneads Ferry we get a little breeze every day, and the weather is a little more moderate than further inland in Jacksonville.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Erosion should not play too much a part unless you are actually planning to live in an oceanfront house, which I don't think many people do.

As I'm sure you know, NC juts out into the ocean and thus is grazed by a lot of hurricanes, even if it doesn't get direct hits (which it also does). This accelerates erosion, and some of the narrow islands are actually cut in two by large storms. The beaches you mention are on islands large enough that that shouldn't be a problem, but any NC beach is going to be crowded with tourists during the summer season from May to September. You might want to live a little inland, such as Morehead City, to avoid the traffic snarls and never-ending lines at the grocery store that typify beach towns here during the summer.
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Old 04-08-2015, 09:17 PM
 
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The extreme north end of North Topsail Beach is having a bad erosion problem; it has to do with the New River Inlet channel and its currents. This rapid rate of erosion seems to have occurred after a channel realignment project was done a few years ago.

Other parts of North Topsail are in good shape - there is a section that is getting beach nourishment as we speak, and the beach will be nice and wide. Having a funded beach nourishment program in place is a HUGE plus in the coastal Carolinas.

Sunset Beach, NC is one of the few beaches that is not only not eroding; it is reportedly gaining sand, and it's quiet like Topsail (except summer).

As you look around, you might want to take note of the dunes - even if you don't live oceanfront, it's a very good sign if the beach has wide, heavily vegetated dunes. If the dunes are man-made (pushed sand), scarped or naked, that means that storms and tides have washed the dune away.

Stay away from any property that is in a CBRA zone unless you want to pay sky high insurance rates and be ineligible for federal aid after a storm; look for "Non-CBRA" or "Eligible for Federal Flood Insurance" on listings.

Good luck!
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