Topsail Island is back open post-Florence

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Families visit Surf City beach Tuesday morning. (Photo: Monique Robinson/ WWAY)

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Topsail Island is one of the most popular sites on the North Carolina coast. After over $9 million in construction repairs post-Hurricane Florence, the island is back and thriving with business.

TI Coastal Services engineered Topsail Beach’s recovery and reports the island’s proactiveness doesn’t compare to other coastal towns. Chris Gibson says the island is way ahead of beaches in Long Island still recovering from Hurricane Sandy, which happened in 2012.

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Topsail Beach Mayor Dan Tuman says limiting access to the beach before the hurricane was the one of the best steps they took to prepare. Now, the new Surf City bridge is always busy with people coming in and out of the community. Town Manager Michael Rose says the $5.5 million dredging of Topsail Creek starting in march will open up navigation channels and bring more sand to the dunes.

“By having the bigger dunes, by having the wider beaches, the waves are breaking further out and the energy is dissipating,” said Rose. “Our goal through all that, primarily is to make sure the property, the homes and the people are protected from those storms and those storm surges.”

“The beach is all cleaned up and we have finished our debris pick up,” said Surf City Mayor Doug Medlin.

Leaders from Surf City, Topsail Beach and North Topsail say their community is ready for business. More than $10 million in construction is under way.

Rose says the town is not waiting on federal funding to start their next $5 million project to rebuild dunes.

“We obviously did have some storm damage and dunes that were impacted by it but they were still standing which is a big part of why the damage wasn’t as bad as it could have been,” said Rose.

The island attracts visitors from around the world but many oceanfront homes lost their beach access stairs.

Island Real Estate Realtor Cathy Medlin has been serving the island for 42 years and says at least 90% of the homes should be ready by late May.

“We’ve got people who’ve vacationed here for 25 or 30 years and they’ve been calling checking on ‘their’ house and I think that’s wonderful,” said Medlin. “So, their booking their places up because they’re scared their going to be left out in the cold and miss their week at the beach.”

Pender County invites you to the trail community for the annual Gathering of Friends event in Surf City scheduled for March 22 – 24.