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Coastal Hazard Assessments and Forecasts from Hurricane Florence

Extensive hurricane damage to beaches, dunes, and other coastal ecosystems from flooding and erosion increases immediate and long-term hazards to shorelines (including densely populated regions, U.S. Department of Defense assets, and National Seashores), putting critical infrastructure at risk to future flooding and erosion and causing economic losses.


  • The USGS will develop products including coastal flood maps for a range of storm scenarios to support real-time hazard guidance during storms, emergency preparedness, and long-term management of existing or proposed engineering, infrastructure, and coastal protection systems. 
  • This work will aid post-storm repair and recovery efforts by improving hurricane impact models for coastlines and updating assessments and models of coastal vulnerability to future storms.
Predicted probabilities of dune erosion from Hurricane Florence
Predicted probabilities of dune erosion (inner band), overwash (middle band), and inundation (outer band) for Hurricane Florence. Pictures are representative of coastal change observed during past storm events. 


Additional Resources: 

Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast Viewer

Stalk, C.A., Morgan, K.L.M., Brown, J.A., and Sherwood, C.R., 2020, Ground control point locations and photographs from North Topsail Beach and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, June 2019: U.S. Geological Survey data release,

Kranenburg, C.J., Ritchie, A.C., Brown, J.A., Over, J.R., Buscombe, D., Sherwood, C.R., Warrick, J.A., and Wernette, P.A., 2020, Post-Hurricane Florence aerial imagery: Cape Fear to Duck, North Carolina, October 6–8, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey data release.

Doran, K.S., Long, J.W., Birchler, J.J., Brenner, O.T., Hardy, M.W., Morgan, K.L.M, Stockdon, H.F., and Torres, M.L., 2017, Lidar-derived beach morphology (dune crest, dune toe, and shoreline) for U.S. sandy coastlines (ver. 4.0, October 2020): U.S. Geological Survey data release,

Doran, K.S., Birchler, J.J., Hardy, M.W., Bendik, K.J., Pardun, J.M., and Locke, H.A., 2020, National assessment of hurricane-induced coastal erosion hazards (ver. 2.0, February 2021): U.S. Geological Survey data release,

Doran, K.S., Birchler, J.J., and Bendik, K.J., 2019, Storm-induced overwash extent: U.S. Geological Survey data release,

Doran, K.S., Birchler, J.J., Schreppel, H.A., Stockdon, H.F., and Thompson, D.M., 2019, Storm-induced coastal change forecasts—Archive of individual storm events. U.S. Geological Survey data release,