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Hurricane Bonnie - Post-Storm Oblique Aerial Photography:
Comparison with Hurricanes Bertha and Fran

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Bertha, Fran and Bonnie -
A Comparison
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Project Contact:
Dennis Krohn

Bertha - 7/16/96
Fran - 9/7/96
Bonnie - 8/28/98

Oblique Aerial Photography
Aerial Reconnaissance Map
Storm Response Flight Airphotos: Click on the number next to any location on the map above to view the photos for that location.

Hurricane Bonnie, a large Category 3 storm, made landfall on August 26, 1998 in almost the same area as Bertha and Fran near Cape Fear, North Carolina. The large storm moved slowly along the coastline, sparking concerns of widespread devastation similar to Hurricane Fran, also a Category 3 storm.

Early assessments are that the damage from Bonnie was much less than Fran and much closer to Bertha, a Category 2 storm, in spite of the slow forward speed and large size of Bonnie. While much credit must go to North Carolina emergency personnel, who learned valuable lessons from Fran, the lower damage to structures may have as much to do with the geologic forces controlling erosion from the storm.

We were able to fly the day after the storm left the Cape Fear area on Friday, August 28, as the tail end of the storm was lingering over Cape Hatteras. The photo record of Hurricane Bonnie presented here, coupled with previous aerial photographs from Hurricanes Fran and Bertha, provide an assessment of how the three different hurricanes affected the same shoreline. Our photo coverage is focused on Topsail Island, where evidence of overwashes is most apparent. The undeveloped areas (such as location 11) are particularly important, as they reveal the natural response as a basis for understanding erosive effects in the developed areas.

Coastal and Marine Program > St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Research by Theme > Hazards > Hurricane & Extreme Storm Impact Studies > Hurricane Bonnie > Oblique Aerial Photography

U.S. Department of the Interior,U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
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Updated December 05, 2016 @ 11:24 AM (JSS)
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