The Army Corps of Engineers is working on a $3 million dredging project along the Beaufort Inlet in Carteret County, and Tuesday we got an up close look at what they do.
The channel, which runs between Fort Macon and Shakleford Banks, used to be 47 feet deep. Some spots are now only 5 feet deep. The Army Corps of Engineers says that was caused by recent noreasters, and hurricanes Irene and Sandy. This is the main channel for commercial and military ships to get in and out of the Morehead City State Port.
For the past several weeks, and for the next few weeks the 300 foot dredge McFarland is sucking up the sand from the inlet, and dumping it further out at sea. The crew of 20 take shifts and operate 24 hours a day. The army corps of engineers says without this dredging project, the Morehead City port would have to be shut down.