Once a thriving holiday destination, full of luxurious second homes on the beautiful sea front of the Outer Banks, with houses built on wooden piles to cope with flooding, Mirlo Beach is just north of the village of Rodanthe.

But the area has been the site of coastal erosion at an unbelievable rate; around 6 metres per year in some places. Houses that were only recently several streets back from the sea now find themselves floating above the water.

The craziness of the whole scene is captured in the sign that welcomes drivers to the village on NC Highway 12: “Mirlo Beach”, it reads. And just below: “Dare to dream the impossible dream”.