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USGS: Sandy a 'major' coastline event

Nov. 16, 2012 at 8:44 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Hurricane Sandy was a "major coastline altering event" in terms of the way it reshaped the beaches along the U.S. East Coast, a U.S. agency said.

Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast in late October as a Category 1 storm. It later merged with an east-bound weather system, creating a superstorm that wrecked havoc on the U.S. East Coast.

The U.S. Geological Survey examined aerial photographs of the Atlantic Coast to determine the extent of coastal change brought on by Sandy.

USGS Director Marcia McNutt had said that wave erosion from the storm was "historic"

"We have seized this opportunity to gather unique data on a major coastline-altering event," she said of the aerial analysis.

The agency said that as the storm approached, it was predicting as much as 90 percent of some areas would experience major beach erosion. Sand displaced by the storm surge has left major infrastructure like roads covered.

"Preliminary analysis suggests that Hurricane Sandy rapidly displaced massive quantities of sand in a capacity that visibly changed the landscape," the agency said.

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