Surf City, North Carolina
NOAA

The image of a flooded Interstate 40 is truly shocking.

Meghan Overdeep
September 21, 2018

Images of the destruction wrought by Hurricane Florence have been pouring in for the past week. Homes submerged, people and animals displaced, coastlines ravaged, and entire towns flooded. Even still, the scope of the damage done by a storm of Florence’s size (upwards of 500 miles across) and staying power can be hard to visualize.

That’s why photos, like the "high-definition aerial photos" collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are so important.  Specialized remote-sensing cameras aboard NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations' King Air aircraft paint a startling picture of the Carolinas post-Florence.

WATCH: Tennessee Trucker and His School Bus Save 64 Shelter Animals From Hurricane Florence

In one image (above), the beautiful shoreline of Surf City, North Carolina has been seriously eroded.

Another particularly-startling snap shows a stretch of Interstate 40 in Duplin County completely submerged under Florence’s historic floodwaters.

Interstate 40, Island Creek, North Carolina
NOAA

Further north, in Jacksonville, the New River has eaten away at the city’s iconic Montfort Point area.

Jacksonville, North Carolina

NOAA

As always, our hearts go out to those who found themselves and/or thier loved ones in her path. To see more aerial footage of Hurricane Florence’s aftermath, visit NOAA’s interactive map at Storms.NGS.NOAA.gov. Find out how you can help those impacted here.