RODANTHE, N.C. — On Thursday, piles of wood, pipes, and concrete filled the shoreline in Rodanthe, North Carolina.
Residents and National Park Service officials said it's a tough sight to see but it comes with the territory. David Hallac, Superintendent of the National Parks of Eastern North Carolina, said the homes along the Rodanthe have been at risk for years as erosion continues to chip away at the shoreline.
For more than two days, Highway 12 and the Marc Basnight Bridge were shut down due to overwash on the roadway. Around noon on Thursday, authorities finally reopened up the bridge and road.
A few areas of sand and seawater were still being picked up by North Carolina Department of Transportation crews.
“There’s probably at least five to six feet of sand right here on this driveway," said Avon resident Jenni Koontz as she walked down what used to be a roadway in a neighborhood.
Koontz owns two businesses in the area and said the storm brought high tides and wind for the past couple of days.
“It's kind of devastating for the homeowners and anyone who has lost their home or their home has been condemned," said Koontz.
Koontz and others said it's now time to clean up. But it's not going to happen overnight.
“We’re now dealing with a debris field that is stretching approximately 15 miles to the south along the National seashore beaches," said Hallac.
Leaders with National Parks Service are asking people to not swim in the ocean at this time.
“There are septic tanks that are now exposed to the ocean. Septic drain fields also exposed and so there's a potential for some contamination of the nearshore waters," said Hallac.
Koontz hopes the weather clears soon.
“Anytime a situation happens like this during our prime season, it’s definitely detrimental to the businesses and it makes it a little harder for us to get through our winter," said Koontz.