State News

Rodanthe beach house collapses in surf

Posted October 21, 2008 8:37 a.m. EDT
Updated October 21, 2008 12:10 p.m. EDT

— 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.