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After 2 Outer Banks houses collapse into ocean, people continue cleaning up

The houses, along Ocean Drive in Rodanthe, fell just hours apart during severe weather on May 10 that brought strong winds and tidal flooding.

RODANTHE, N.C. — Over a week after two houses on the Outer Banks collapsed into the Atlantic Ocean, people are continuing to pick up the pieces.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials said Tuesday that contractors, volunteers, and National Park Service (NPS) employees have cleaned up several miles of the beach where extensive debris was discovered.

The houses, along Ocean Drive in Rodanthe, fell just hours apart during severe weather on May 10 that brought strong winds and tidal flooding to the coastal regions of North Carolina and Virginia. No one was inside at the time.

RELATED: Two homes collapse into the ocean as tidal flooding impacts the Outer Banks

Clean up efforts are coming along

Since the collapses, Seashore officials said they hosted eight separate volunteer cleanup events, which had 125 people contributing 215 hours of official volunteer assistance. 

More people, mainly those on Hatteras Island, also helped outside of the organized cleanup events.

Ten members of the Eastern Incident Management Team, which has National Park Service employees from different states, arrived Monday to help clean up. They're using front-end loaders, dump trucks and other heavy equipment to move tons of debris littering the beaches from Rodanthe to Avon.

Credit: Photo: NPS
Volunteers and National Park Service staff work together to place collected debris into a vehicle.

The owners of the houses hired a construction company that has worked to clean up debris since the day after the collapses.

“It has been inspiring to see so many people help clean the beach in the days following the two house collapses,” David Hallac, the National Parks of Eastern North Carolina superintendent, said in a news release. “All of them chose to assist Seashore staff and a contractor hired by the homeowners because they wanted to make their national seashore safe and enjoyable for all.

Credit: Photo: NPS
Debris that was collected and later removed by a contractor hired by owners of the collapsed houses.

Other homes pose a risk to the beaches

Seashore officials are reaching out to owners of houses that are considered a risk to the beaches and visitors.

People are asked to be cautious while on the beaches of Hatteras Island. Wooden debris with exposed nails, wires, broken and exposed septic systems and other hazardous materials, are on the beaches and in nearshore waters.

The beach adjacent to Ocean Drive will stay closed until safety hazards are removed.

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