From Sunny to Swamped

Aerial imagery of areas affected by Hurricane Florence captures the extent of flooding and helps disaster damage assessors.

In the aftermath of a major disaster, aerial imagery provides a cost-effective way to quickly assess damage. The National Geodetic Survey is currently gathering imagery from Hurricane Florence.

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Aerial imagery of Topsail Beach North Carolina from NOAA.

The use of aerial imagery in a non-emergency application has been considered in Maryland, too. Legislation was introduced in the Maryland General Assembly in 2016 to authorize the State Department of Assessments and Taxation to use aerial photography to perform property assessments. While the bill did not advance to final passage, as technology develops, the idea may surface again.

As reported by Homeland Security Today, with regard to emergency applications,

Aerial imagery is a crucial tool to determine the extent of the damage inflicted by flooding, and to compare baseline coastal areas to assess the damage to major ports and waterways, coastlines, critical infrastructure, and coastal communities. This imagery provides a cost-effective way to better understand the damage sustained to both property and the environment.

For more information, see Hurricane Florence Damage Assessment Imagery Now Available Online from Homeland Security Today and see the Hurricane Florence Imagery Tool from NOAA.