Damage to Virginia Dare Trail in Kitty Hawk done by spring nor'easter.

The debate about beach nourishment may have gotten some focus with the latest gift from Mother Nature. The mini nor’easter that brought some wind, a little bit of spitting rain and unseasonable cool—ok, cold—temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday did some unexpected damage.

The Virginia Dare Trail, the Beach Road, a little bit to the north of the Black Pelican is undrivable. It seems the storm wiped out the beach, took out the dune line and undercut the road. Really surprising since it didn’t seem like that much of a nor’easter.

NCDOT is usually pretty good about fixing these things—although this one seems a bit more complex than usual, but the bigger issue here is how to stop the encroachment of the Atlantic Ocean.

The town of Kitty Hawk, along with Duck and Kill Devil Hills have a cost sharing agreement with Dare County to nourish their beaches. All three towns have indicated the funding needed will be included in their next budget cycle—which will be in June. After that the planning and permitting process can start in earnest. If all goes according to schedule, the first projects should begin in 2016.

Not a moment too soon, certainly, for Kitty Hawk. Beach nourishment puts more sand on the beach and creates a protective sandbar—both would have been helpful this time around.