Would Cape Hatteras Lighthouse be destroyed by now if it wasn’t moved in 1999?

The answer is most likely yes, according to an article in the Charlotte Observer. “If we hadn’t moved the lighthouse, we’d be regularly dealing with the wrath of the ocean pounding that lighthouse in tropical storms and hurricanes,” David Hallac, superintendent of North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras National Seashore, said. “We’re talking about waves smacking against the lighthouse.”

The extant lighthouse tower was 1500 feet from the ocean when it was built in 1870. After a century of storms eroding sand from the island’s ocean-facing side, it was just 120 feet from the edge, and it was much closer than that before its 1999 move.

This aerial photograph shows how close the lighthouse was to the sea before its 1999 move.  During strong storms, seawater would sometimes reach around the foundation of the lighthouse. National Park Service photo.

Click here to read more in the Charlotte Observer.

Click here to read more about the 1999 move of the lighthouse.

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One thought on “Would Cape Hatteras Lighthouse be destroyed by now if it wasn’t moved in 1999?

  1. The aerial photo also shows how the jetty that was built captured sand being washed southward by littoral drift wave action. Without that jetty the lighthouse would have been seriously threatened much earlier.

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