I’ve been watching houses wash into the ocean for years, and it’s always an experience of power. Nothing is permanent near the surf zone. Back in the 70’s and 80’s , I lived in north Rodanthe for over 10 glorious years. Some of the best times of my life were spent there. Storms and shifting sands are a constant. The wind and waves, quite literally shape this place. And nothing stands in the way.
My good friend Joe Kierzkowski will usually give me a call when something of significance is happening. He got me at 4AM when the Bonner Bridge fell down in 1990. And this Sunday, at a more respectable hour, he phoned about a house that was beginning to lean into the ocean.
Denise and I got there just as high tide was peaking, and sure enough we were witnessing a big one ready to go down. The McMansion was built on a very dynamic beach only 5 or 6 years ago, complete with pool, jacuzzi and numerous other amenities. I wondered how many flat screen tv’s were inside. And here before our very eyes it’s all going into the ocean. Imagine that!
Every now and then, we could hear the sound of splitting lumber. At one point there was a loud crack when a wave hit. Then the building dropped to one side, another splitting sound and it leaned further. And finally dropping completely off the pilings, and resting on the beach…. all with 10 seconds.
Last night the building survived the following high tide, and is becoming quite a tourist attraction.