Storm sends one house into ocean, damages others in N.C.

After collapsing into the surf over the weekend, an oceanfront house in Rodanthe, N.C., was being pounded by waves whipped up by a coastal storm.

On Monday afternoon, the house was leaning precipitously into the ocean.

"It kind of gracefully sat down off the pilings," Melvin Stone, president of Surf or Sound Realty on Hatteras Island, said Monday.

Stone said that when he saw the house in the afternoon, the first level that was once 10 feet off the beach was being consumed by the surf.

"It was kind of a sad sight," he said. "Waves were breaking through a window."

Built about five years ago, the six-bedroom house, located about one mile south of the house used in the movie "Nights in Rodanthe," had rented for $5,495 a week during the height of the summer season.

"I don't see how it can be salvaged," Stone said. "I would say it's likely a loss."

A house to the south was also condemned because its pool area was undermined, he said. Additional information about Hatteras Island damage was not available from the county planning office in Buxton.

Ocean overwash at Mirlo Beach forced the Dare County Sheriff's Office to close N.C. 12 near Rodanthe at 11:30 a.m. Monday. The road reopened before 6 p.m. Allen Russell, state Department of Transportation maintenance engineer for Dare and Hyde counties, said Monday afternoon that at least 18 inches of water was sitting on top of 18 inches of sand.

Serendipity, the house used in "Nights in Rodanthe" for exterior shots, is essentially in the ocean but is standing solid, caretaker Murray "Frisco Mo" Clark said. "The house itself has suffered no damage," Clark said. "None whatsoever. But you need a boat to get to it."

Other homes along the Outer Banks coast lost decks, stairs and water service. With the ocean coming up so high on the beach, building inspectors were unable to inspect many properties for damage to septic tanks, a typical problem seen after storms.

In South Nags Head, 24 homes were initially without water service, said public works director Dave Clark. By Monday afternoon, he said, two of those had service restored, and he expected that 17 more would be repaired by to day.

Parts of water lines that serve east-west streets were washed away by the surging surf, he said, including lines to 11 properties on Spencer Street.

"We can't get out to fix them because the ocean is still pretty angry," Clark said.

In Kitty Hawk, parts of N.C. 12 by Wilkins Avenue overwashed Sunday and Monday at high tide around 1 p.m., said William Midgett, Kitty Hawk public works director. Midgett said the road did not close, but signs were put out to warn drivers about the high water.

Midgett said he could not determine the extent of damage to oceanfront properties until the ocean recedes, but it was evident that some homes lost decks and stairs.

Brian Cullen, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Morehead City, called the storm, which blew in Friday, a "garden variety nor'easter," with winds blowing steady as high as 35 mph and gusting to 40 mph.

Forecasters are keeping an eye on the potential for a system off the coast, he said.

"There's a chance for another coastal storm next weekend," he said, "and we'll just wait and see how that develops."

Catherine Kozak, (252) 441-1711, cate.kozak@pilotonline.com

Posted to: News North Carolina

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It's Too Bad

that you lost your house but what does it take for you folks to figure
out that you shouldn't build your gazillion dollar house on an
unstable, movable beach in an area of predictably unpredictable
weather? In my opinion, you shouldn't be allowed to build on the beach
side of the road in the first place, and any company that insures you
is looney!

There goes our tax money

I found a fairly recent (within 5 or 6 years) aerial shot of the house in Rodanthe that fell into the ocean over the weekend. Guess what? The house is sitting all by itself, already looking as though the ocean is closer than one would like it to be. The house next to it in the photo above was not even built yet! I would imagine that we are looking at a couple of houses valued at 1 to 1.5 million that our federally funded flood insurance program was all too willing to insure - at the taxpayers expense, of course!

Didnt the bible say

Didnt the bible say something about not building your house on the sand?

Someone is bitter and has a

Someone is bitter and has a lot of time...


Hahaha, quality post

If you build on the coast

It should be no surprise that during storms, buildings built on the coast collapse. Those that build such buildings should get some sort of stupidity award. Those that are crazy enough to buy such homes should get the same. The problem is, most of them are insured - by American taxpayers, and that's just plain wrong.

To Markk...

It sounds like you have a touch of green going on inside you. We have a small Shore cottage that we have built ourselves using our retirement money. Thank God we did...at least we still have an investment worth something. However, I would like to know where I can apply for this "tax-payer" paid insurance? I write a check to State Farm every year, so please email again with the contact information...I'm sure there are a lot of other people like myself, that would like to know about this wonderful benefit the kind people of VA Beach, Outer Banks, or where ever you got your completely ridiculous stupid information.

Oh please change me Obama

Obama wave your change magic wand and fix those houses with my wealth. Sure spread my wealth to the lazy class heck I am tired of all those tax cuts.

Remember the childhood Sunday School Song?

"The foolish man built his house upon the sand....the foolish man built his house upon the sand.........................."

The gulls are quiet

I am still waiting for someone to post that this is what "rich" people deserve.


The only insurance you can get is from the federal government. If you don't know about it, I am stunned. It goes along with flood insurance. Flood insurance in this country is backed by the American taxpayer.

I've known many a person who has lived on flood plains - and lost everything only to have the federal government come and bail them out. After awhile, they get smart too - and stop building there.

Envious? I don't envy what I call stupidity. But hey, it's YOUR money. Waste it as you see fit. If Mother Nature decides your place is gone, it'll be gone, a lot faster than mine further inland will be.

5 years young but not strong enough to survive.

I am not surprised a house on the beach collapsed. I am surprised it was a 5 year old home. I thought the legal codes that a builder must go by were written stronger in the last few years for coastal homes. I’d be questioning the builder and the inspector as well as who passed off on the plans in the city. I’m sure glad no one was in it renting it at the time. Are we going to have to clear out all newer beach homes in case of mild storms to protect lives? The old ones still there have stood the test of time. Perhaps they should be studied and their building styles used to create new codes.


"Samson" said:

"I write a check to State Farm every year"

Interesting, since State Farm does NOT insure properties within 1,000 ft. of tidal water! Unless you fibbed about the exact location of your "Shore Cottage" ? And I suppose that you don't have Federal Flood insurance, either?

Can't decide who is to blame......the dummies who build on the Ocean or the dummies who give them the permits? Sandbridge is another perfect example of too much money, not enough brains.

Federal Flood Insurance our

Federal Flood Insurance our tax dollars hardly working

You pay for that

Federal Flood Insurance our tax dollars hardly working

Yep, considering the home owners pay for it and not tax dollars. I think mine is $1,800/year, and I can't even see water from my house.

Redskin 44,

I don't think rich people deserve it but I sure do think STUPID people do when these insane acts of building right on the ocean are costing me money by way of increased premiums.

Close but not accurate

"The only insurance you can get is from the federal government. If you don't know about it, I am stunned. It goes along with flood insurance. Flood insurance in this country is backed by the American taxpayer."

There are plenty of places to buy Flood Insurance from that is not part of the goverment backed plan. It just cost more.

THere are several areas in the Outer Banks of NC that are not eligable for the plan so they are forced to buy from companies such as Lloyds.

To Clear Up Insurance Info

I've had a house ~ 2 mi South of the one seen for 37 yrs. For similar $ insurance coverage I pay about 4Xs over inland rates. Mine is not on the ocean and was built by a lifelong "Banker".

The only tax subsidized insurance available is Fed Flood; limited to $250K max per residence. For coverage, newer structures have to meet standards (first floor height, etc). The house may not have been covered. Or coverage may have been thru something like Lloyds, very, very expensive.

Several years ago insurers ceased providing wind/hail insurance. We now go to a high risk pool (like the driver with multiple accidents/DUIs/etc) for coverage, also very expensive.

Finally there is the rest of the stuff in a homeowner policy like fire, theft, etc. Also very expensive.

Thus I have 3 policies.

Now if you live in Hampton Roads and don't have the Fed Flood coverage, you might want to check out the revised storm surge maps. You will likely be surprised.

Samson -

You write the check to State Farm because they are the middle man handling the flood policy for you. But, when it goes to get paid out, it's backed by the gov't depending on the type of policy it is - if it's in a "low risk" zone, then the most it should be is $348 a year - that is for $250K in dwelling and $100K contents. If you live in a "high risk" area, then the rates can fluctuate and they can get very expensive. Our's is over $1500 a year but we live in Willoughby. I told my husband if we ever get to sell this place, I will hopefully not have to pay this kind of premium again!

I think another poster mentioned he has separate insurance for his house and separate for wind/hail. Is that NC? In VA, most policies have wind/hail although the deductible is quite high (1%, 2% or 5% of your dwelling amount).

Yes, in NC

Once you cross into NC just about everything east of I-95 is a higher risk then a property at the same longitude in Virginia. While regular deductables are easy to come by in Va, many do have % deductables as well. Most of us here in NC simply cannot buy wind/hail insurance except through the plan.

This is an important lesson. Never place all of your insurance companies faults on the company itself. Often the state causes more damage. We pay almost triple what we paid for the same square footage in Virginia. You can get flood insurance in fed backed New Orleans but not in the OBX. As a New Yorker or Jersey person what they pay for auto.

Now doesn't that make you want to have federalized health care?


Yes that wind/hail is in NC. I was speaking about my place near the house in the story in NC.

You all could use a little cheese with your whine

Again, sounds like a bunch of sour green grapes to me. You couldn't give two rips about insurance when you plan your vacations at a wonderful beach house every summer, do you?! We may one day get blown off the Shore, but until then...life is good and I love the smell of salt water in the mornings.

Storm takes house

We had rented the house Caramore in July and the realty agency "moved us" when, on the second day, we noticed the high tide washing UNDER the porch row of pilings.

How and why does the local Planning Board or Zoning/Planning Code allow construction so close to the beach when we all know Mother Nature will rear her ugly head every so many years?

I would guess that the pool of insurance payers is rather large if a few million dollars worth of homes disappears each year and yet "flood/catastrophic incident insurance" seems to be only $1,800 per year?

As far as Willy...Obama is no socialist you silly Willy. Stop listening to that McCain propoganda...he's losing...he'll say anything to discredit Baracj and get you to vote for McCain-Palin (imagine Sarah as president ..AHHH!..scary idea). Obama may need to raise taxes on those who can afford it, folks who make more that $250,000, but at least he will seek to balance the budget whereas Bush-Cheney deficit spending for eight years gave my children Republican debt! That was a crime!


Don't recall anyone mentioning $1800. There was a person who mentioned $1500, but that was for an area in Norfolk VA. No comparison to Hatteras Island in NC where the collapsed house is. Further any premium mentioned is meaningless without knowing the coverage it provided (Flood, wind, hail, fire, etc ???)and the coverage amount. $1800 for $1M for all the above probably a very good deal; for a $100K flood only, maybe a very bad deal. Also depending on location and the flood zone of the location, rates for any coverage can vary considerably.

OBX Property

As an OBX rental property owner, I feel that we pay our fair share of insurance money to protect our investments. It may surprise a lot of people that the vast majority of homeowners at the OBX are not in the Obamma rich category (250K/year, soon to be 42K/year if elected). We spend lots of our time and personal money to provide amenities that our guests enjoy. While the vast majority of guests are considerate, it is particularly disheartening when you have to repair/replace items purposely destroyed by guests who apparently think that some "rich guy" owns the place. I cannot understand why the houses going into the water were allowed by the county to be built. That would not happen from Nags Head north.

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