Shocking video showed the moment a North Carolina oceanfront home was taken by surging waves and collapsed into the sea earlier this week:
Officials with Cape Hatteras National Seashore said the home at 24265 Ocean Drive in Rodanthe was the second unoccupied residence to collapse into the sea Tuesday.
A home at 24235 Ocean Drive collapsed earlier in the day.
Officials said visitors should be careful on the beach and in the ocean along Hatteras Island, as debris is being spread widely.
A home at 24183 Ocean Drive collapsed Feb. 9, and debris spread across many miles of beaches before the homeowner and volunteers removed much of it during an organized beach cleanup event, officials said.
“Unfortunately, there may be more houses that collapse onto Seashore beaches in the near future,” according to David Hallac, National Parks of Eastern North Carolina superintendent. “We proactively reached out to homeowners along Ocean Drive in Rodanthe after the first house collapse and recommended that actions be taken to prevent collapse and impacts to Cape Hatteras National Seashore.”
Fox Weather said a low-pressure system off the East Coast has been creating wind gusts, high surf, rip currents, and coastal flooding and is responsible for the surging waves that collapsed the two homes.
The network said in a separate story that the storm's winds have brought waves as high as 15 feet along parts of the Outer Banks and pushed ocean flood waters inland as high as four feet above ground level.
'Time is of the essence'
WTKR-TV spoke with the owner of a construction company doing cleanup — except workers weren't immediately able to get to the area with their trucks.
"Time is of the essence; it's an emergency contract," Mike Dunn told the station. "Typically, we have to be there within 24 hours of the collapse, but with this situation, with the roads being closed, we're not able to get there at this moment."