RODANTHE, N.C. (WAVY) — While the water may have carried some of the collapsed houses away earlier this week, there was still a lot left on the beach to clean up. That is exactly what the community in Rodanthe did on Friday during breaks in the bad weather.
Earlier this week, two homes that sit on the ocean on the Outer Banks of North Carolina collapsed and were pulled into the water.
Several homes have collapsed over the years on the Outer Banks, as erosion has left many homes built years ago now right at the edge of the ocean. Records show both homes that fell on Tuesday were built in the 1980s.
Officials have spent millions on beach nourishment, but that hasn’t stopped the ocean from pulling a few houses into its clutches.
This all comes as the Outer Banks deals with flooding and other issues associated with a coastal low that’s been off in the Atlantic for several days now. Overwash/tidal flooding also closed sections of North Carolina Highway 12 several days earlier this week.
On Friday, nothing remained on the sites of the collapsed houses but a concrete slab and a septic tank. The empty lots are a reminder that mother nature is unrelenting.
Questions now remain as to if these lots can rebuild and, more importantly, if they should.
One tourist from Canada told 10 On Your Side that after seeing it on the internet, he “did not expect to walk here on the actual street where it happened.”
The debris field is wide and far.
At the Cape Hatteras Outer Banks KOA Resort, volunteers gathered to help clean up.
Alex Smith was one of those volunteers.
“I saw all the houses had fallen in,” he said. “I have liked working at the seashore in the past. I have lived here the last few summers. So, I kind of wanted to come here and clean up some stuff.”
Ocean Drive is blocked by tons of sand that crews were busy cleaning up Friday afternoon.
“We were not sure we were gonna be able to make it to the island,” added the tourist from Canada. “The road was closed, for what? Two or three days.”
The cleanup is expected to continue into the weekend.