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These high-resolution images, acquired by the IKONOS satellite, show Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on September 4, 2002 (top), and on September 21, 2003 (bottom), two days after the eyewall of Hurricane Isabel passed overhead. The images show how the road closest to the beach has been almost covered by sand in the wake of the storm’s surge. Note also the long burgundy and blue patches just inland from the beach in the bottom image. These are areas that were flooded by the storm and where water is still standing in many places in and around people’s homes. Tongues of sand appear to be stretching hundreds of feet inland from the beach, in many places. An outflow pattern left by receding flood waters can be seen clearly on the beach toward the lower right corner of the bottom scene.
Note also that there are several beachfront cottages visible in the top image that are no longer present in the bottom scene. It is not clear whether these properties were removed before Hurricane Isabel, or were swept away by the storm’s powerful surge.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.