House collapses into ocean and scatters debris for miles along North Carolina coast

A home partly collapsed into the Atlantic Ocean and sent debris floating for miles along beaches in North Carolina, federal officials said Wednesday.

The collapsed home on Ocean Drive in Rodanthe was primarily pushing its remnants between there and Salvo in Dare County, about a 4-mile stretch along Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the National Park Service said in a statement.

Debris has also been spotted farther away, officials said.

A collapsed beachfront home Wednesday along Ocean Drive in Rodanthe, N.C.National Park Service

Visitors “should use caution when participating in recreational activities on the beach and in the ocean between the villages of Rodanthe and Salvo due to debris from a collapsed house,” officials said.

They noted that debris has floated as far south as 7 miles away.

Park Service personnel are working with Dare County employees to coordinate the removal of the house and its debris, authorities said.

NBC affiliate WAVY of Portsmouth, Virginia, reported that the collapsed home was a five-bedroom house built in 1980. It had been listed as a vacation rental, the station reported.

A collapsed beachfront home Wednesday along Ocean Drive in Rodanthe, N.C.National Park Service

Another ocean home vanished from Rodanthe in 2020, WAVY reported. Beach erosion continues to affect properties in the area, and some homes built years ago that were farther away from the beach are now on the edge of the water, according to the station.

A 2020 study published in the journal Nature Climate Change concluded that half of the world’s beaches could disappear by the end of this century as a result of climate change-induced coastal erosion and rising seas.

As global temperatures continue to rise, driven by emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, melting ice will raise sea levels and extreme weather events are expected to become more frequent and intense. That would batter vulnerable coastlines around the world, according to the researchers at the European Union’s Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy.

If those processes are left unchecked, they could result in the “near extinction” of 50 percent of the globe’s sandy beaches by 2100, they said.

Denise Chow contributed.

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