Linda Eleuteri damage in Cherry Grove

Cherry Grove resident Linda Eleuteri shows how high the water rose in her tool room downstairs. The flooding also wiped out her Koi pond. Photo by Christian Boschult 

When Hurricane Isaias skirted the Grand Strand Monday night, Cherry Grove bore the brunt of its damage. 

North Myrtle Beach said Thursday that the storm caused and estimated $2,431,700 in damage to 438 structures in the city. 

The vast majority of the damage was caused by flooding in Cherry Grove. 

When measured by structure, 96.5 percent of the damage occurred in single family residential homes. 

The city said 93.6 percent of the damage occurred in Cherry Grove, and 5.5 percent of the damage occurred in Windy Hill. 

For comparison, Hurricane Matthew caused $20 million in damage to 1,799 structures, and Hurricane Florence caused $901,675 in damage across 759 structures. 

The city says permits are required for repairs, but the city is waiving the permit fee. 

The storm also took a heavy toll on the dunes north of Sea Mountain Highway and wiped out a large part of the Sea Cabin Pier in Cherry Grove. It flooded much of Cherry Grove, including residential areas along the canals and part of Sea Mountain Highway. 

City spokesperson Pat Dowling said the city called in the Army Corps of Engineers from the Charleston district to look at the dune damage.

Beach renourishment projects go through the corps, and are based on the profile of the beach and dunes during the 1990s. 

While the 10-year renourishment projects are paid for with a mix of state, local and federal funds, Dowling said the last few emergency renourishment projects (generally done after a hurricane) have been paid for by the Corps.

Dowling said City Manager Mike Mahaney took pictures before and immediately after the storm to document the damage and sent the evidence to the Corps.

"They’re looking at the dunes and the beach for beach erosion and dune erosion," Dowling said. "The city manager and mayor and city council have established a really good relationship with the Charleston district and the D.C. officials as well."

The city contracted with Coastal Carolina University professor and School of Coastal and Marine Systems Science Director Paul Gayes to use LIDAR technology to analyze the dunes to get a more exact measurement of where losses occurred. LIDAR equipment uses lasers as measuring devices. 

But the beach repairs are still potentially months away. 

"We’ll have to see what we lost, where we lost it, and begin to work with the Corps to determine how and when we’ll replace that and what the cost will be," Dowling said. "It’s not an immediate type-thing, but getting it in the chute is important because there’s a lot of steps we have to take." 

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