State News

Rodanthe beach house collapses in surf

Posted October 21, 2008

— A weekend storm stirred rough surf that made a six-bedroom house collapse about a mile down the North Carolina beach from where scenes from the movie "Nights in Rodanthe" was filmed.

The house that once stood 10 feet above the beach on pilings was leaning into the Atlantic Ocean, The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reported Tuesday.

Ocean overwash forced the Dare County Sheriff's Office to close N.C. Highway 12 near Rodanthe on Monday morning, but the road reopened before 6 p.m.

The house used in filming the movie's exterior shots was still standing, although the ocean was washing under it. Caretaker Murray Clark said the Serendipity house wasn't damaged "but you need a boat to get to it."

"It kind of gracefully sat down off the pilings," Melvin Stone, president of Surf or Sound Realty on Hatteras Island, said of the other house. "It was kind of a sad sight. Waves were breaking through a window. I don't see how it can be salvaged," Stone said. "I would say it's likely a loss.'"'

The house was built about five years ago and rented for $5,495 a week during the height of the summer season. Another house nearby was condemned because its pool was undermined.

Storm surges caused damage to other houses along the Outer Banks.

Nags Head public works director Dave Clark said 24 houses had lost water service, but were being repaired. Water lines were washed away by surf that surged into streets.

Sections of NC Highway 12 in Kitty Hawk flooded during high tide Sunday and Monday afternoons, said public works director William Midgett. He said some homes lost stairs and decks.

Brian Cullen of the National Weather Service in Newport said the storm started Friday and was a "garden variety nor'easter." The storm had steady winds as high as 35 mph with gusts to 40 mph.


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  • ChristaS Oct 21, 2008

    Not thinking I have much concern about it - although I do feel bad that somebody's house was destroyed. You shouldn't build your house on a sinking foundation such as the SAND............DUH!!!!! It was a pretty house, though.

  • jbyrd Oct 21, 2008

    I can feel no simpathy for anyone stupid or arragont enough to build anything out there on a shoal that probably didn't even exist just a few years ago. And I resent the fact that they will probably get an insurance check financed by my tax dollars.

  • ScreenNameNotInUse Oct 21, 2008

    I must say, I have little sympathy for the owners of this property. Common sense should have been a better guide. Let it be a lesson to all.

  • littlebobeep Oct 21, 2008

    Why do people gloat because someone who tried to live the American dream by taking the initiative and investing for their future suffers a loss like this. I bet you wouldn't be so quick to comment if it was your future that were sinking into the ocean.

  • Fun Oct 21, 2008

    OK WRAL, do some work, tell us were these home insured? Was the insurance subsidized by the governement or provide through a government facility?

  • starglow2005 Oct 21, 2008

    When you build a house on a foundation made of sand so close to the ocean waves, mother nature always wins!! Too bad for the owners, but bye bye house and the big rent checks.

  • haggis basher Oct 21, 2008

    "The house was built about five years ago"

    Well that was pretty dumb.....the one in the movie is doomed too but perhaps since its now a movie star someone will pay for it to be moved or the beach renourished.......