Photo source: ©© Shoreline
Just weeks before the expected completion of a $36 million beach nourishment project, Hurricane Irene may have chewed away as much as 25 percent of the new sand pumped onto the Nags Head shoreline.
The storm, which left a noticeably smaller beach in its wake, has reignited the arguments of skeptics unconvinced that the controversial project was ever worth its price tag. Advocates, on the other hand, say the project performed just as it was intended.
The project is unprecedented on the Outer Banks, where shifting sands regularly expose oceanfront properties but federal funds have never been made available to nourish the beaches. Nags Head officials decided earlier this year to move ahead with the project despite widespread doubts about its longevity…