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Before and after pictures - Hurricane Rita and Holly Beach, Louisiana

Detailed Description

Hurricanes can cause severe beach erosion

The Storm-Induced Coastal Change Hazards component of the of the National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project focuses on understanding the magnitude and variability of extreme storm impacts on sandy beaches. The overall objective is to improve real-time and scenario-based predictions of coastal change to support management of coastal infrastructure, resources, and safety.

Our Nation's coastlines are in constant flux through the processes of erosion and deposition. Storms of various types impact the coast further. Hurricanes are more likely to affect the Atlantic and Gulf coast states, while winter storms affect all coastlines throughout the conterminous United States as well as Alaska and Hawaii. The impacts to population, infrastructure, and habitat vary geographically, depending on shoreline type, whether sandy beach, rocky shore, sea cliff, barrier island or wetland.

This picture shows the impact of Hurricane Rita on Holly Beach, Louisiana in 2005. In the right photograph, note the sand deposit emerging from the flood waters in a mid-island location half way between the arrows, as well as landward of the main highway along the far-left side. Evidence of flow-induced scour under and around structures is present in the post-Rita photograph.