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Another beach house collapses in Rodanthe at the Outer Banks


By WRAL Staff

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    North Carolina (WRAL) — Another beach house has collapsed in the Outer Banks, firefighters in Rodanthe confirmed on Tuesday.

Chicamacomico Banks Fire & Rescue posted a photo on Facebook of the single-story home near a pier.

According to Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the house is at 24131 Ocean Drive in Rodanthe. A one-mile section of beach is closed from Sea Haven Drive to South Shore Drive.

“Erosion has been occurring for many years and sea level rise may be exacerbating the issue,” said Mike Barber with Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

“As the erosion rates increase in this area, I hate to say it’s not anything that’s new, it’s not anything that’s surprising,” said Dare County Planning Director Noah Gillam. “It’s just an unfortunate circumstance.”

A Facebook post read:

“Tri-Village beachgoers beware! One of the houses on Ocean Drive has collapsed overnight. Debris are scattered in the area of the pier. Some debris may be floating and make swimming hazardous. With today’s current, most debris will be floating north. Take caution.”

Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS) urged visitors to avoid the beaches north of Sea Haven Drive into the southern portion of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

“I believe in the coming days that with the contractors, assistants, that will have a bunch of the bulk of the debris picked up,” Barber said. “But the debris has traveled to the north, by at least a mile at this point, maybe more.”

CHNS employees are asking the public for help in cleaning up some of the debris from the collapse. Supplies will be provided for the effort, which begins Wednesday at 8 a.m. Volunteers should gather at the Rodanthe Pier on Atlantic Drive. Officials encourage thick-soled footwear to avoid any nails that may have washed up.

A total of six homes have collapsed in the Outer Banks in the past four years, largely due to climate change.

Dare County said they have tried to get funding for beach renourishment in Rodanthe or homeowner assistance to move threatened structures back, but have been unsuccessful so far.

In November, the National Park Service purchased two threatened homes to remove them.

In March 2023, a home collapsed on East Point Drive in Rodanthe. In May 2022, CHNS said an unoccupied house collapsed on Ocean Drive in Rodanthe.

In February, 2022, a five-bedroom home in Rodanthe collapsed, sending debris into the ocean.

Climate change is contributing to more tropical storms and hurricanes, and experts say the North Carolina coastline could start to shrink. A new report projects the U.S. sea level will rise as much in the next 30 years as it did in the past 100 years.

As the climate continues to warm, environmental experts said the threat to homes in Rodanthe is only going to increase.

“Sea level rise is likely to continue to make these problems worse and make it even more challenging to manage these coastal areas,” said David Hallac, superintendent of the eastern North Carolina branch of the National Parks Service.

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