Homes Swept Into the Ocean in North Carolina—the Latest Reminder of Climate Change’s Arrival

A viral video is drawing attention to sea-level rise in one of the most at-risk shorelines in the nation: the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

May 18, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


A house has been swept into the Atlantic Ocean by high tides, leaving ruins in onshore as the house appears half submerged by water,

Cape Hatteras National Seashore / Twitter

Richard Fausset reports for the New York Times from Rodanthe, North Carolina, a city located in the state’s Outer Banks, where a viral video of the home at 24265 Ocean Drive collapsing into the ocean earlier this month has drawn renewed attention to rising sea levels and the effects of climate change.

“Three prime beachfront lots are now empty on Ocean Drive, a small stretch of a charmingly scruffy Outer Banks subdivision called Trade Winds Beaches that has, to the chagrin of its property owners, become a sort of poster neighborhood for sea-level rise,” writes Fausset.

“The once-generous stretch of beach in front of the houses has largely vanished in recent months, leaving them vulnerable to the destructive power of the Atlantic Ocean.”

While sea-level rise might still seem like a distant threat in some communities, count Outer Banks among the areas where the threat is very present (along with communities along Lake Michigan, the Gulf Coast, and Alaska, among others).

“Federal officials say that sea levels in the area have risen roughly one inch every five years, with climate change being one key reason,” reports Fausset. “State officials say that some Outer Banks beaches are shrinking more than 14 feet per year in some areas.”

More details on the vanishing shoreline of North Carolina can be found in the source article below.

Saturday, May 14, 2022 in The New York Times

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