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Ocean reclaims beaches and houses

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by Tena Starr

We set out for Rodanthe, North Carolina, at 8 a.m.  We arrived around 11 p.m. We were flying.  It took 15 hours.  According to Google Maps, if we’d driven, it would have taken 13 and a half hours.

We went to Rodanthe, which is on North Carolina’s Outer Banks and has a population of about 200, because beachfront houses are collapsing into the Atlantic.  Accelerated erosion caused by a rapidly rising sea is eating upwards of a dozen feet of land a year in some places on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Rodanthe being the worst.

Traveling 800 miles to look at exposed septic tanks and battered, stilted houses in danger of toppling into the ocean may not be your idea of a good time, but I was obsessed….

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