When you live next to the largest sand dune on the Outer Banks, this is what you deal with, sand swallowing your yard.
“We’ve lost about half the backyard and every time a storm comes our fence gets covered up,” said Joy Greenwood, the superintendent of Jockey’s Ridge State Park. “It’s a losing battle.”
Greenwood’s property is one of ten threatened by the creeping sand.
According to Greenwood the sands typically shift 1-6 feet a year. This past year the sands shifted 30 feet.
“In the past year, the dune system has picked up a little bit due to the hurricanes, Florence, Michael and then we had a lot of bad northeastern storms,” explained Greenwood.
In an effort to preserve the dune system and people’s backyards, a massive sand relocation project is underway. During the next three months crews will haul 140,000 cubic yards of sand from the southeast corner to the northwest corner of the park. The project has a price tag of $1 million.
Officials estimate it will take about 14,000 truck loads.
The project has been in the works for 3-4 years and should be complete in 3 months, before the busy tourism season begins.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park will continue to stay open and operate as normal during the project.