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How Did The December 17th Nor'easter Affect The Breach Inlet Sandbars?

I last documented the Sullivan's Island and Breach Inlet sandbars on November 29th, 2023. Right after that on December 17th, a fierce nor'easter storm walloped our coast. Isle of Palms famously (or perhaps, infamously) lost a ton of sand from the south side. Approximately 20 ocean front homes' swimming pools were washed out and damaged beyond repair. Many wooden walkways and stairs were washed away into Breach Inlet. There were more minor storms since then that took even more sand away. You've probably seen the excavators and bulldozers working overtime from the Breach Inlet parking lot on Isle of Palms.


All that lost sand? Not surprisingly, it's in Breach Inlet and off Sullivan's Island. Many of our local Charleston Ocean Athletes play in these waters, so hopefully the following documented changes help give everyone an idea of where the sandbars are. This affects where and how we launch and where to play given the tide conditions. Boaters will also find this information helpful.


I wanted to document the sandbar changes but wanted to wait a bit closer to spring. I finally went back out with my drone on Thursday, March 14th at dead low tide.


Following are the results. The comparison photos are at dead low tide November 29th, 2023 and March 14th, 2024. As always, the changes are fascinating.



Station 28.5



Station 29



Breach Inlet



Isle of Palms side of Breach Inlet



Sullivan's Island from Station 27 to the harbor



Following are more photos and videos of dead low tide on Thursday, March 14th, 2024



wide view of Breach Inlet



slightly pulled in view of Breach Inlet



Station 28.5 and south towards the harbor



Station 28.5



Station 29 & Station 30



Isle of Palms side of Breach Inlet



outside Breach Inlet looking towards Isle of Palms



View of outside of Breach Inlet looking east (next photo to the one above)



view looking south from Breach Inlet - sandbars on right are just outside Station 28 area



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