85 percent of Florida beaches expected to experience erosion, USGS says

U.S. Geological Survey coastal change experts have forecast that 80 percent of the beaches from Florida to North Carolina are likely to suffer beach and dune erosion from Hurricane Dorian.

Experts predict that Georgia and South Carolina beaches will suffer the most dune erosion and that 100 percent of their beaches will suffer at some level.

Eighty-five percent of Florida's beaches are expected to experience erosion from the strong waves and surge generated by the storm.

"When hurricanes move slowly and remain at sea for long periods of time, they tend to build up large storm waves," said research oceanographer Kara Doran, leader of the USGS Coastal Change Hazards Storm Team. "These waves can travel hundreds of miles and begin causing dune erosion well before the storm arrives, on shorelines that are far from the center of the storm. And with Dorian now moving very slowly, and forecast to stay offshore and move slowly up the coast, high surge, and strong waves are likely to persist over a period of days. So the likelihood increases that the dunes could be overtopped and flooding could occur behind them as they are eroded by wave action."

About 60 percent of North Carolina's dunes will experience erosion, experts said.

"Inundation, the most severe coastal impact, occurs when beaches and dunes are completely and continuously submerged by water," the USGS said in a news release. "Inundation is forecast as very likely for 9 percent of dunes in both Georgia and South Carolina. North Carolina and Florida are currently not projected to experience any inundation."

Click here to view a real-time map of these coastal change forecasts.


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