The Town of Wrightsville Beach is a barrier island located on the coast of North Carolina. The island has a normal population of approximately 2,500 residences that can swell to over 10,000 during the peak tourist seasons. The island is relatively flat, fairly narrow and located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intra-coastal waterway. During major tropical storm events or hurricanes, sand over wash can accumulate several feet deep in certain places. This causes a tremendous burden on the Town’s utility department during the recovery period.
Cape Fear Engineering’s services for this project included the location of infrastructure appurtenances such as water valves, sanitary manholes, fire hydrants and other critical existing utilities. This information was collected with GPS equipment and processed in ArcView software for inclusion into Wrightsville Beach’s existing GIS system. The Town was also provided with color coded maps and plots of the systems in order to better evaluate the locations and conditions of the facilities.
As part of this project, Cape Fear Engineering committed to the Town to be on-site after a storm event that produced sand over wash in order to navigate to any part of the system that had facilities or appurtenances that had previously been located. This would enable the Town to find and recover water valves and other utilities easily that were covered by sand over wash in order to expedite the ability of the Town to open the island up to residents who had evacuated before the storm. Being able to get water and sewer services back on-line after a storm event is critical in providing basic services to residents and for emergency personnel to use in case of an event such as a fire.