by Jamil Lynch and Jennifer Hudson | CNN
Two beach shores in North Carolina’s Outer Banks collapsed on Tuesday from high water levels and beach erosion, according to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and may fall further in the coming days.
The agency said both houses in Rodanthe were vacant at the time. The agency’s video shows a house to death as ocean waves cause the stilts to support the house to collapse.
In February, another home in Rodanthe also collapsed, leaving debris on miles of beaches.
Officials’ concern this week comes amid long-term concerns such as rising sea levels and beach erosion on the border island of Cape Hatteras, along with severe weather.
“Unfortunately, there may be more homes falling on beaches in the near future,” David Hallack, superintendent of national parks for eastern North Carolina, said in a statement. “We reached out to homeowners along Ocean Drive in Rodenthe after the first house collapse and recommended that action be taken to prevent the collapse and impacts to Cape Hatteras National Seashore.”
The collapse occurred on a pristine stretch of beach, which epitomizes why the Outer Banks is a major tourist destination every summer. Yet coastal communities such as the Outer Banks face increased risk due to sea level rise, worsening erosion and high tidal flooding.
Coastal communities in the Northeast have seen significant increases in tidal flooding, including Washington, D.C. and Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration notes that there will be seven to 15 days of high tide flooding nationally by 2030. By 2050, the frequency increases to 25 to 75 days.
According to NASA, sea levels in this part of coastal North Carolina have risen about 3 inches since the early 1980s. Coastal erosion costs about half a billion dollars each year in the form of deteriorating structures and land that is lost to the rising ocean.
Homes were in danger for months
In Rodanthe fell during high tide of severe weather and flooding.
In a release on Saturday, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore said severe weather was forecast in the Outer Banks area beginning Sunday, with strong winds, powerful surf, dangerous rip currents, significant beach erosion and ocean overflow. is included.
The Cape Hatteras National Seashore said earlier this week that high tides are forecast to remain above flood levels until at least Wednesday. “This recent sea level forecast is concerning,” Post said.
According to the National Weather Service, parts of Cape Hatteras have coastal flood warnings and high surf advisories as of Thursday.
The beach near Ocean Drive has been cordoned off and officials will close Ocean Drive as well for fear that homes may collapse elsewhere.
A spokesman for Cape Hatteras National Seashore said the houses that fell on Tuesday were determined months ago by the Dare County Planning Department as unsafe and at risk of collapse. The spokesman said the storm system accelerated the collapse, but the beach adjacent to Ocean Drive has been closed since February.
North Carolina Highway 12, which runs through the Outer Banks, remains closed from Oregon Inlet to Rodenthe, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.