Hatteras Island resident: Vacation home 'crumbled into ocean'

Posted September 4, 2011 10:48 p.m. EDT
Updated September 4, 2011 11:30 p.m. EDT

— For the first time since Hurricane Irene hit, some Hatteras Island residents returned to the island Sunday to check on their properties after floodwater tore a breach in N.C. Highway 12 eight days ago.

All Hatteras Island residents will be allowed to return by ferry on Monday.

Janet Martin thought Tailwinds, her renovated vacation home at Mirlo Beach, had survived the wind and sound surge, but on Friday, she learned that it suddenly collapsed.

"I cried most of the day on Friday (and) still cry sometimes," she said. "We loved that house."

The house slowly fell into the sea because of increased erosion caused by Irene. Once it fell, waves ripped it apart.

"I guess we just never thought it would crumble into the ocean," Martin said.

She and her husband have not decided whether they'll rebuild, but Martin said she'd like to see Hatteras Island make a comeback.

"It's just a beautiful part of the country, so yes, we are definitely praying and hoping that they will fully restore that area," she said.

The Martins said they are working with their insurance company and aren't sure when they'll return to the Outer Banks.