Cleanup underway after Outer Banks beach cottage collapse

The National Park Service removed 20 truckloads of debris Tuesday from the beach in Rodanthe after another cottage collapsed into the ocean Monday.

It was the fourth house in the same area of Outer Banks to fall into the sea in a little more than a year.

Park officials say refuse from the collapse at 23228 East Point Drive drifted north and south, with a 21-mile debris field from the north end of Rodanthe to the south end of Avon.

Last year, three homes collapsed on the rapidly eroding Rodanthe oceanfront, prompting the park service to launch an emergency plan to deploy park service staff immediately and volunteer teams within 48 hours, if needed.

The house belonged to a couple from Pennsylvania; park officials contacted them one year ago about the perilous condition of their property, the park service said in a news release.

In a March 11, 2022, letter, park officials “recommended actions be taken to mitigate threats to seashore lands and waters.” As of Tuesday, the owner of the house “has not developed a plan to clean up the debris,” the release said.

Park service employees will continue cleanup efforts, and there may be formal volunteer cleanup opportunities once conditions improve, the park service said.

Kari Pugh,