Aerial Surveyors Map Timber Damage from Hurricane Florence

As one of the top 10 most damaging hurricanes, Hurricane Florence dealt North Carolina a staggering blow in September 2018. As Florence battered North Carolina’s coast, it brought wind gusts of more than 100 mph, a pre-landfall storm surge that flooded numerous coastal communities, and record-breaking rainfall for the next several days. The destruction left in her wake devastated the Coastal Plain of North Carolina. While much of the damage was due to flooding, it was the combination of high winds and saturated soils that led to downed and damaged trees.

On Sept. 20 and 21, N.C. Forest Service aerial surveyors Wayne Langston and Jim Slye took to the air to assess timber damage caused by Hurricane Florence. Based on the location of hurricane force winds, they flew horizontal paths 10 miles apart from the southern tip of N.C. north to the Pamlico Sound. They looked for trees that were uprooted and fallen over or trees that suffered extensive breakage.

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