Another Outer Banks Home Falls Into the Sea

It's the second one in Rodanthe, North Carolina, in a matter of months
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 10, 2022 12:17 PM CDT
Another Outer Banks Home Falls Into the Sea
This photo provided by the National Park Service shows a beach house collapsing along North Carolina's Outer Banks on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.   (National Park Service via AP)

(Newser) – Another beach house has fallen into the waves along North Carolina's coast and more are in danger of collapsing, US National Park Service officials said Tuesday. The unoccupied home that collapsed was located along Ocean Drive in the Outer Banks community of Rodanthe, per the AP. The park service has closed off the area and warned that additional homes in the area may fall, too. Debris from the fallen house is spreading widely. Officials from the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which is part of the park service, said they will be working closely with the homeowner to coordinate cleanup activities.

This is the second time a home has fallen into the surf this year. A house in Rodanthe collapsed in February and spread debris across many miles of beaches before the homeowner and volunteers were able to clean most of it up. However, cleanup efforts for smaller pieces of debris continues. “Unfortunately, there may be more houses that collapse onto Seashore beaches in the near future,” said David Hallac, superintendent of National Parks of Eastern North Carolina. “We proactively reached out to homeowners along Ocean Drive in Rodanthe after the first house collapse and recommended that actions be taken to prevent collapse and impacts to Cape Hatteras National Seashore.”

North Carolina’s coast is almost entirely made up of narrow, low-lying barrier islands. Hatteras Island is part of what's known as the Outer Banks. Hundreds of pricey vacation homes have been built there in places where experts say they probably should not have been. The islands are particularly vulnerable to storm surges and to being washed over from both sides, and development only makes the problem worse. As sea levels rise, barrier islands typically move toward the mainland over long periods of time. Holding them in place by artificial means tends to make them more vulnerable.

(Read more Outer Banks stories.)

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