Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

PHOTO: Recent flooding in Louisiana seen from space

"No Labor Day Picnic," Gulf Coast, USA

Late summer is awash in the waters of the earth. On August 28th, Hurricane Irene made landfall in New Jersey, eventually dumping as much as a foot of rain in some spots along the Mid-Atlantic and northeastern states. Irene brought some of the worst flooding in a century to Vermont, destroying as many as 30 bridges and over 250 roads across the state.

Tropical Storm Lee did similar damage in the Gulf Coast. When Lee made landfall in Louisiana on September 4th, 2011, it poured as much as 11 inches of rain into the area. While new post-Katrina flooding safeguards upgrades “performed as demanded” in New Orleans, the rest of the state experienced significant flooding. 

Pictured here are before-and-after views of the Gulf Coast taken by NASA’s Thematic Mapper sensor aboard NASA’s Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 imaging satellites.

As the USGS writes: “Left: August 29, 2011. Right: September 6, 2011. Tropical Depression Lee made landfall here during Labor Day weekend, dumping up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain in the bayou communities of Louisiana. The September 6 image shows the low-lying areas filled with water (shown in blue). The August 29 picture shows the area before the storm arrived. Subsequent imagery will be used to monitor recovery of the region.”

Image Credit: USGS Landsat Missions Gallery, U.S. Department of the Interior / U.S. Geological Survey