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Outer Banks homeowner shares photo taken just hours before his house collapsed into the ocean


A photo taken just hours before an Outer Banks home collapsed into the ocean showed it was standing strong before a powerful storm tore it down.

Pat owns one of the two unoccupied homes along Ocean Drive in the Outer Banks community of Rodanthe, North Carolina that fell into the waves due to high tides and strong winds on Tuesday.

The California resident, who purchased the oceanfront home less than a year ago, told DailyMail.com he was in the process of moving the house to a nearby lot before he heard the ‘devastating’ news.

‘We are shocked and devastated by the total loss of our home,’ Pat said in an exclusive interview Wednesday. ‘We were working with contractors to save our house. We knew it was in jeopardy of collapsing after a series of storms.’

His neighbors were sending him photos of the property almost daily as their family weighed options for protecting their beloved second home.

‘The day before photos of our host looked fine, which is why we were hoping to get it moved,’ Pat explained. ‘We are just so devastated we’re not sure what we’re going to do. It’s a total loss – we lost everything.’

Maximum wind gusts of 45-50 mph and a Coastal Flood Warning remains in effect for the area through early Thursday morning. The U.S. National Park Service has warned at least nine other nearby homes are at risk of being destroyed. 

A photo taken the day before an Outer Banks home collapsed into the ocean early Tuesday morning shows the was standing tall before the storm rolled in

Pat's home on Ocean Drive in the Outer Banks community of Rodanthe, North Carolina fell into the waves due to high tides and strong winds on Tuesday

Pat’s home on Ocean Drive in the Outer Banks community of Rodanthe, North Carolina fell into the waves due to high tides and strong winds on Tuesday

The four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home collapsed around 3am, Pat told DailyMail.com

The four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home collapsed around 3am, Pat told DailyMail.com 

Pat, 57, purchased the four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home in August 2021 for around $550,000. 

He said his family, which is split along the east and west coasts, was drawn to the property because of its ‘oceanfront appeal’ and convenient location.

‘It had been a vacation rental,’ he said. ‘We bought it to be able to entertain and have family gather from the east coast and west coasts. Being on the beach was attractive to us to make family memories.’

The family planned to visit the 2,592 square-foot house several times a year, using it as a gathering place for holidays and special events.

When they weren’t occupying the property, they intended to rent it out for others to enjoy. 

Pat purchased the home in August 2021 for around $550,000. He was aware, however, that the home was at risk of collapse, as are many properties in the area

Pat purchased the home in August 2021 for around $550,000. He was aware, however, that the home was at risk of collapse, as are many properties in the area

Pat was in the process of moving the house to a nearby lot before he heard the 'devastating' news. Pictured: A view of the ocean as seen from Pat's deck

Pat was in the process of moving the house to a nearby lot before he heard the ‘devastating’ news. Pictured: A view of the ocean as seen from Pat’s deck

The family planned to visit the 2,592 square foot house several several times a year, using it as a gathering place for holidays and special events. As seen above, the house featured a fireplace

The family planned to visit the 2,592 square foot house several several times a year, using it as a gathering place for holidays and special events. As seen above, the house featured a fireplace

When they weren't occupying the property, the family intended to rent it out for others to enjoy. Pictured: An interior view of the home

When they weren’t occupying the property, the family intended to rent it out for others to enjoy. Pictured: An interior view of the home

Pat was aware, however, that the home was at risk of collapse, as are many properties in the area.

‘Late last year another neighbor lost their home to the ocean,’ he recalled, adding that his fellow community members were also taking steps to protect their homes.

He said the neighbors on both sides of his house had recently moved their homes further back on their lots, but alleged ‘that doesn’t guarantee there won’t be problems.’

Pat, weighing many options to protect the property, said his family had looked at moving the property to a vacant lot about one-and-a-half miles away.

They wanted to utilize the land they currently owned, but due to zoning and city code option it was best to fully relocate the home. 

‘The lot was about two blocks off of the ocean,’ he said. ‘That way we could still experience the Outer Banks but not be subject to the severe storms they have on the ocean.’

Pat said his family, which is split along the east and west coasts, was drawn to the vacation home because of its 'oceanfront appeal' and convenient location

Pat said his family, which is split along the east and west coasts, was drawn to the vacation home because of its ‘oceanfront appeal’ and convenient location

The family is devastated at the loss of the property and is currently is working with their insurance company and reviewing their next steps. Pictured: An exterior shot of the home

The family is devastated at the loss of the property and is currently is working with their insurance company and reviewing their next steps. Pictured: An exterior shot of the home

The homeowner explained that while the loss of the home has left their family heartbroken, sharing how the news brought his sister to tears, he remains grateful for the things he still has. Pictured: Pat's home before it collapsed

The homeowner explained that while the loss of the home has left their family heartbroken, sharing how the news brought his sister to tears, he remains grateful for the things he still has. Pictured: Pat’s home before it collapsed

Two beach houses collapsed in the Rodanthe, North Carolina area, which is a part of Hatteras Island — approximately 30 miles away from the mainland

Two beach houses collapsed in the Rodanthe, North Carolina area, which is a part of Hatteras Island — approximately 30 miles away from the mainland

Pat said his home collapsed around 3am Tuesday. The family was aware of the incoming storm, but didn’t expect the house to come crumbling down. 

‘Our house looked fine the day before,’ he said. ‘We don’t know how high the storm surge came but clearly our house couldn’t survive it.’

The family is working with their insurance company and reviewing their next steps.

Pat said they need to figure out what is covered and if they are allowed to rebuild on their lot, but adds they hope to remain in the Outer Banks area. 

‘We love that area. My brother lives near Charlotte. We have family that lives on east coast. We just love the area and still want to be there, but we don’t know our options,’ he said.  

‘We are in shock at the moment and haven’t pursued anything further.’

The homeowner explained that while the loss of the home has left their family heartbroken, sharing how the news brought his sister to tears, he remains grateful for the things he still has.

‘When I think about what’s going on in the world, in Ukraine, I feel fortunate that I still have a home. As much as I’m devastated I feel very fortunate,’ Pat said. 

Outer Banks homeowner shares photo taken just hours before his house collapsed into the ocean

Another home on Ocean Drive, owned by a Tennessee resident, also collapsed amid Tuesday’s storm 

Incredible video footage has captured the moment an Outer Banks beach house on North Carolina's coast crumbled into the ocean due to high tides and strong winds

Incredible video footage has captured the moment an Outer Banks beach house on North Carolina’s coast crumbled into the ocean due to high tides and strong winds

It only took approximately four minutes for the home to fully cave into the ocean and disintegrate into debris, with only its upper half staying undamaged and afloat

It only took approximately four minutes for the home to fully cave into the ocean and disintegrate into debris, with only its upper half staying undamaged and afloat 

Another home on Ocean Drive, owned by a Tennessee resident, also collapsed amid the storm.

Video shows the second home’s wooden pillars collapsing after a high wave struck the home at around 1pm Tuesday.  It then slowly drifted away from the shore by the ocean’s current. 

It only took approximately four minutes for the home to fully cave into the ocean and disintegrate into debris, with only its upper half staying undamaged and afloat.

The homeowner did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment. 

Officials from the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which is part of the park service, said they are working closely with the owners of both homes to coordinate cleanup activities.

It only took a total of four minutes for the beach home to fully collapse and disintegrate into debris before spreading around Hatteras Island, located 30 miles away from North Carolina's coast

It only took a total of four minutes for the beach home to fully collapse and disintegrate into debris before spreading around Hatteras Island, located 30 miles away from North Carolina’s coast

Plenty of debris was found in the on the island village of Rodanthe's shores before the home's collapse around 1p.m.

Plenty of debris was found in the on the island village of Rodanthe’s shores before the home’s collapse around 1p.m.

North Carolina's coast is almost entirely made up of narrow, low-lying barrier islands. Hatteras Island is part of what's known as the Outer Banks. Hundreds of pricey vacation homes, such as the two pictured above, have been built there in places where experts say they probably should not have been

North Carolina’s coast is almost entirely made up of narrow, low-lying barrier islands. Hatteras Island is part of what’s known as the Outer Banks. Hundreds of pricey vacation homes, such as the two pictured above, have been built there in places where experts say they probably should not have been

This is the third time a home has fallen into the surf this year. A house in Rodanthe collapsed in February and spread debris across many miles of beaches before the homeowner and volunteers were able to clean most of it up. However, clean up efforts for smaller pieces of debris continues.

‘Unfortunately, there may be more houses that collapse onto Seashore beaches in the near future,’ David Hallac — superintendent of National Parks of Eastern North Carolina, said in a statement. 

‘We proactively reached out to homeowners along Ocean Drive in Rodanthe after the first house collapse and recommended that actions be taken to prevent collapse and impacts to Cape Hatteras National Seashore.’

North Carolina’s coast is almost entirely made up of narrow, low-lying barrier islands. Hatteras Island is part of what’s known as the Outer Banks. 

Hundreds of pricey vacation homes have been built there in places where experts say they probably should not have been. The islands are particularly vulnerable to storm surges and to being washed over from both sides.

Development only makes the problem worse because communities replenish shorelines that are eroding or have been depleted by storms. As sea levels rise, barrier islands typically move toward the mainland over long periods of time. Holding them in place by artificial means only makes them more vulnerable.



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