Salvo Day Use Cemetery Receives Temporary Sandbag Barrier
By JOY CRIST
Salvo Day Use Cemetery received a much-needed boost over the weekend
thanks to a new barrier of sandbags to protect the fragile gravesites.
cemetery, which is located on National Park Service land within the
popular Salvo Day Use Area just south of the tri-villages, has been
battered by storms and erosion, and has rapidly deteriorated to the
dismay of the descendants of the islanders who are buried there.
have broken, washed away, or have been removed by concerned family
members who worry they could disappear altogether, and tombs have
become exposed as the soundfront area steadily recedes.
But this new barricade of sandbags will help protect the gravesites and will serve as a temporary fix for future storms.
definitely temporary – it’s not going to sustain for years,” says Jenny
Creech, president of the Hatteras Island Genealogical and Preservation
Society. “But it is a huge help. Two graves were exposed completely,
and this is going to keep those from washing out.”
placed the sandbags right where the erosion was, and we placed the
headstones on higher ground so when we do have a permanent resolution,
we can put them back where they go.”
for the project came from a number of fundraisers conducted by the
Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Civic Association, and the sandbag project has
been in the works for several years. “The Civic Association has been
working on this for a while, trying to figure out some sort of
resolution,” says Jenny.
Marine and Dave Swanner performed the work over the weekend alongside a
number of volunteers who stopped by to lend a hand during the project,
which lasted from Thursday until Saturday.
barrier is made up of 10-15 ft. long sandbags, that weight close to
4,000 pounds each. Now that they have been placed at the site, the
sandbags will take the brunt of the wave activity, sparing the cemetery
from further erosion.
the cemetery is surrounded by National Park Service lands, the NPS
worked in conjunction with the team to get the barrier in place. “The
Parks Service was actually great, and was cooperative with giving us
the space to do what we needed to do on their property, so we could get
to the graveyard,” says Jenny.
are also in the works for a more permanent solution which will entail
creating a bulkhead around the site. “We’re waiting for a grant to come
through to do the bulkheading,” says Jenny.
not an exact timeframe yet, but we’re for hoping for sooner rather than
later… Hopefully, by the fall or the beginning of next year, we will
have that in place.”
the meantime, the new barrier has already faced a bit of a test due to
high winds that have lingered all week long. But Jenny reports that the
newly placed sandbags are working, and are doing their job.
gone out there every day after work and we’re holding up good,” she
says. “I’m so grateful for [this project.] It was like getting
Christmas and your birthday all at once.”