After a few days of northerly gales, I got up this morning to hear about another oceanfront building succumbing to the perils of the sea. It was not unexpected. I wanted to have a look, and the area south of the Rodanthe pier was ground zero.
There was already a contingent on hand to see the spectacle. With visitors here, I’m sure most of them had never seen such a sight. Walking in I saw photographer friends, Don Bowers and Dan Pullen. Sauntering around various vantage points, I settled in on a wind-protected elevated perch where Don and Dan joined me. They were shooting up a storm.
Over the years I’ve lost count how many buildings I’ve seen destroyed. I’d venture that it approaches 50. In 2008 I watched one on Sea Haven Street actually buckle and go down.
Today after a 2 hour wait I got to witness another one in the process. It was leaning eastward on piles high over the beach as waves plowed beneath it.
After an hour we heard a little snap. Fifteen minutes later another cracking sound. It was then I knew it was going to sea. Five minutes later we heard another crunch. A minute passed and the creaking picked up into a crash. Suddenly before our eyes, the foundation gave way and lowered the structure on to the incoming waves. It reminded me of the Wicked Witch getting splashed with water and melting away.
In a matter of seconds, it had collapsed…
At first it floated around, teetering in the surf.
As water poured in, it began breaking apart, expelling contents.
Dan got up-close and personal as a wall of debris washed toward him.
In less than 5 minutes, you’d never know it was a two story house.
As man builds so close to the sea, the messy spectacle continues!