Removal of debris from collapsed Rodanthe house begins

Published 9:40 am Saturday, February 12, 2022

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Thursday evening, the owner of a collapsed house on Cape Hatteras National Seashore property in Rodanthe submitted a removal plan and hired a contractor to complete an extensive cleanup of the house and many miles of CHNS beach.

“After a careful review of the plan, the Seashore this morning issued the homeowner a special use permit to immediately begin removal work,” stated an announcement from CHNS early Friday afternoon.

The two-story house collapsed into the Atlantic Ocean south of the Rodanthe Pier. Cape Hatteras National Seashore was notified of the collapse early Wednesday morning.

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The structure – identified as 24183 Ocean Drive – had not been connected to water or power for a year or more, reported Chicamacomico Banks Fire Chief Mike Daugherty, who was alerted about the collapse around 7 a.m. Wednesday morning.

CHNS alerted beachgoers after the collapse to the presence of debris from Rodanthe through Salvo to Ramp 23, seven miles south of the site.

W.M. Dunn Construction, LLC, of Powells Point, has been hired by the homeowner to remove the collapsed house and all associated debris. National Park Service rangers have observed debris along approximately 15 miles of beach to the south of the collapsed house site.

According to county records, the house was built in 1980 with five bedrooms and three bathrooms and was 1,960 sq. ft. on a 10,500 sq. ft. lot.

“The large debris field from the fallen house poses a risk to Seashore visitors,” stated David Hallac, superintendent of National Parks of Eastern North Carolina. “We have been in contact with the owner of the home since the day of its unfortunate collapse and appreciate his efforts to follow through on submitting a removal plan and hiring a contractor to clean up the beach and eliminate hazards.”

CHNS advises that “visitors should use caution when participating in recreational activities on the beach and in the ocean between the villages of Rodanthe and Avon due to debris from the collapsed house.”

Sections of the collapsed house and its associated debris have been observed in the surf line and hundreds of meters out from the surf. Surfers and mariners should use caution in these areas.

Wood debris that washes up on the beach might contain sharp, exposed nails which could cause harm to pedestrians and damage to vehicle tires, stated CHNS.

Beachgoers that observe chemicals or other hazardous materials should call 252-473-3444.

The beach near the site of the collapsed house is temporarily closed and short-term closures south of the house site may be necessary. Beach closures will be announced at and via text alert (text CAHAORV to 333111).