Crazy things are happening in the Outer Banks — and no, it has no relation to Season 3 of the popular Netflix series.
North Carolina residents across Dare County, particularly in the coastal town of Rodanthe, are overwhelmed with concern regarding the well-being of their beachfront homes. Thanks to relentless beach erosion in Rodanthe, houses have been collapsing, with the fourth in recent history crumbling into the ocean on Monday, March 13.
County and National Park Service officials had been in communication with the homeowners, ever since it was deemed unsafe for occupancy in May 2022.
“The owner will be responsible for the clean up of their property, and the debris on the park service property,” stated Noah Gillam, planning director for Dare County, per The Washington Post. “We are patrolling the surrounding areas and will likely be decertifying other structures for occupancy due to damaged septic [tanks] and structural damage.”
"Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) visitors should use caution when participating in recreational activities on the beach and in the ocean near East Point Drive in Rodanthe, N.C., due to debris from a collapsed one-story house," reads an NPS announcement. "The bulk of the debris is at the site of the collapsed house... The Seashore is communicating with the owner of the house to coordinate the removal of the house and all related debris on the beach."
A fourth home has collapsed in Rodanthe, thanks to beach erosion.
It's truly a homeowners worst nightmare.
At 23228 East Point Drive in Rodanthe, an unoccupied oceanside home collapsed into the water around 12 p.m. on Monday, March 13. According to Island Free Press, it was a one-story, three-bedroom home, which was built in 1976, and the power was cut last May when it was deemed uninhabitable. Now, residents and authorities are most concerned about the debris that has been washing ashore, as it poses a risk to beachgoers.
The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is currently in the process of cleaning up the debris.
“The bulk of the debris is at the site of the collapsed house [and the] Seashore is communicating with the owner of the house to coordinate the removal of the house and all related debris on the beach,” the National Seashore stated. “Visitors should use caution when participating in recreational activities on the beach and in the ocean near East Point Drive in Rodanthe.”
Monday’s home collapse was mostly due to years of beach erosion, but elevated surf is what ultimately toppled it over. Due to ongoing storms along the East Coast, though, surf is expected to be particularly rough at least through Wednesday. High winds, with speeds up to 40 miles per hour, are also in the forecast. So residents should prepare, especially those within close proximity of the collapsed home (and its debris).
What is causing Rodanthe's beach erosion?
The town of Rodanthe has been facing problems, as a result of beach erosion, for a while now.
According to Dare County, a public meeting in January 2023 addressed the matter, to inform local residents and property owners alike in the quaint beach town. The meeting addressed potential projects that could protect the beach's foundation, as well as funding challenges for these types of endeavors. Because this is the fourth Outer Banks home to succumb to beach erosion, it's clearly a serious issue.
"Coastal erosion is destroying beachfront houses near Cape Hatteras, creating dangerous debris and compounding problems for park staff," reads a press release from the National Parks Conservation Association last year.
If this continues as it is, it could create worse problems for residents and local employees alike.