Kitty Hawk Looks to Restore Soundside Shoreline

Overwash from a March storm made Moor Shore Road impassable.
Overwash from a March storm made Moor Shore Road impassable.

Last month a storm blew into the Outer Banks from the west. As Outer Banks storms go, it wasn’t particularly memorable.

The wind blew hard from the west; there was about a half inch of rain and temperatures hovered around 50 degrees.

What the storm did do, though, what push water into Kitty Hawk Bay—that’s what west winds do— and that water overwashed Moor Shore Road, a low-lying street along the water.

Kitty Hawk Bay Overwash

The overwash has become increasingly common.

In a presentation to the Kitty Hawk Town Council earlier this month, Michelle Clower, Coastal Specialist with the North Carolina Coastal Federation noted that NOAA observations indicate the shoreline in along Moor Shore Road is eroding at 1’ per year.

At the presentation, Clower discussed two plans for shoreline restoration.

The simplest plan would restore approximately 400’ of shoreline. The complete plan would encompass 866’ and would restore and protect the shoreline along the entire length of Moor Shore Road from the bridge at the north end of the problem area to the multi-use path on the south end.

Project Details

One of the reasons the Coastal Federation felt the Moor Shore project was particularly important are the many uses of the road.

Although a secondary road that sees little traffic, it is an important part of the bike trails that link Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills as well as being part of the Outer Banks Marathon route. This weekend, it will be part of the Flying Pirate Half Marathon.

The smaller project has a cost of $70,000. The larger project would cost the town about $145,000.

Kitty Hawk Mayor Garry Perry, speaking for the Town Council, felt the larger project was the better choice, noting the longterm cost would be considerably less because of the greater protection it offered.

Perry indicated the Council would examine the issue in its budget workshop in May and see if the moneys could be found in the upcoming budget.