In the early hours of Tuesday morning, another house succumbed to the persistent erosion plaguing the Outer Banks of North Carolina, marking a continuing trend of coastal degradation in the region. Cape Hatteras National Seashore authorities reported the collapse of an unoccupied house located at 24131 Ocean Drive in Rodanthe. The structure, already vulnerable due to the coastal environment, likely fell into the ocean around 2:30 a.m., told Washington Post.

The collapse prompted the closure of a one-mile stretch of beach from Sea Haven Drive to South Shore Drive, a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of visitors and facilitate the cleanup of debris. The National Park Service (NPS) issued a warning for visitors to steer clear of the affected beaches extending north of Sea Haven Drive into the southern part of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. “Dangerous debris may be present on the beach and in the water,” warned the NPS, indicating that further beach closures might be necessary as debris disperses and cleanup operations continue.

This recent incident is part of a larger pattern of structural losses in the area, with this being the sixth house collapse reported on Seashore beaches in the past four years—three of which occurred in 2022 alone, and one other earlier in 2023. The National Seashore has linked these collapses to the relentless forces of winds, waves, tides, and rising sea levels, exacerbated by storms that are particularly severe around Rodanthe and Buxton.

The NPS highlighted the challenges faced by privately-owned oceanfront houses in these vulnerable areas, noting that they are frequently “battered by strong winds and large waves” during severe weather events common to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The ongoing erosion and weather impacts raise concerns about the stability of other structures in similar positions along the coastline.

Cleanup efforts for the latest collapse were scheduled to begin Tuesday afternoon, as local authorities and environmental services work to mitigate the impact on the local environment and ensure public safety. The persistent issue of coastal erosion in the Outer Banks underscores the need for ongoing vigilance and potentially more robust measures to protect both the natural landscape and the properties built upon it.



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