Hurricane Irene Aftermath
September 2, 2011 Facebook TwitterMore...

Oceanfront house falls into ocean this morning at Mirlo Inlet
....WITH SLIDE SHOW

By ANNE C. BOWERS

Tailwinds, the large teal-colored house and one-time neighbor of Serendipity, the famous “movie house” that was moved last year, suddenly fell into the ocean in Rodanthe this morning around 8:30 a.m., around high tide.

Its demise was predictable when a small inlet formed near the house during Hurricane Irene last Saturday.  Because of many complications and a much larger inlet about five miles north, there has been no work done to stop the water that flows from ocean to sound in this inlet at the Mirlo Beach subdivision in northern Rodanthe.  

The strong northeast winds over the last two days only worsened the house’s chances of survival.  Last night, the pilings closest to the ocean were totally exposed and dangling which caused the decks to sag.  How quickly the house fell surprised everyone.

Being overcome by the water is always a bitter ending for any oceanfront house.  The ocean has been unrelenting to houses in this area since the “Mirlo Inlet” formed.  

Once the beautiful house fell, the surf quickly pulverized it and all of its contents.  In a couple of hours, there wasn’t much that was recognizable except for a chair or a door.  It was curtains to a lovely vacation home that brought so much pleasure to so many for so long.

Most of the remnants powered southward in the surf, seriously impacting the Black Pearl, the house right next to it.  Some pieces managed to be sucked into the inlet and worked their way towards the Pamlico Sound.  The hot tub, naked of its supporting box, was upside down and on the banks of the inlet.

The Serendipity house was moved out of harm’s way in January, 2010 to a safer ocean side location and continues to be a rental house today.  If the house hadn’t been relocated, Hurricane Irene would have been the storm that would have destroyed this building.  In fact, the inlet at Mirlo Beach cut through almost exactly where the iconic structure had welcomed Hatteras Island visitors since 1988.

There are several more houses in jeopardy on both sides of Highway 12 as a result of Hurricane Irene.  Until this small inlet is plugged, the houses are subjected to the ocean’s merciless power twice a day during high tides.


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