Two houses collapse in Rodanthe

Published 11:17 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2022

By Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy
The Coastland Times

Two houses leaning into the ocean finally collapsed on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.

Both houses were unoccupied.

The first house, at 24235 Ocean Drive in Rodanthe, hit the water in the early morning hours Tuesday. Waves regularly washed under the structure, built in 1985. The house had 2,592 square feet of space and was valued at $376,400 by Dare County.

The second house at 24265 Ocean Drive was lost to the ocean around 1 p.m. Tuesday. This house was built in 1980 and valued at $83,100 by Dare County. This is a smaller house with 1,485 square feet. This collapsed house was awash in heavy surf.

House debris like a sofa and mattresses were already on the beach along with lumber with protruding nails from the first house collapse.

The first house owner, Ralph A. Patricelli, of Monte Rio, Calif., according to Dare County’s records, has secured a special use permit for cleanup and hired contractor W.M. Dunn Construction from Powells Point to clean up the mess.

The second house owner Hien Hoang Pham, of Knoxville, Tenn., has also secured a special use permit for cleanup.

National Park Service has closed the beach along Ocean Drive to protect the public from hazardous debris. Law enforcement officials will close Ocean Drive shortly. Visitors are cautioned to stay away from the beach in this area, reports a Cape Hatteras National Seashore media release.

Late Tuesday morning, seashore staffers were surveying south of the collapse to determine how far the debris field had spread.

The northernmost house on Ocean Drive is also leaning oceanward. That owner has just about completed the permit process.

As with a Feb. 9 house collapse, the National Park Service will coordinate cleanup activities with the house owner and the public.

Already, North Carolina Beach Buggy Association, Outer Banks Forever and a local homeowner have volunteered to organize cleanup brigades when the time comes, reported Dave Hallac, superintendent of National Parks of Eastern North Carolina. Hallac reported that seashore staffers were trying to secure the area.

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