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Home » Hurricanes » Hurricane Sandy Before and After

Hurricane Sandy Before and After Photos


Storm surge damage along the New Jersey and New York coastline

storm surge damage - New Jersey

Storm surge and storm waves overran the barrier island at Montoloking, New Jersey, pushing homes off of their foundation, knocking down trees, damaging bridges, destroying utility services and covering the island with sand. USGS aerial photo from November, 2012.


Storm Surge: New Jersey and New York Coast



The most damaging impact of Hurricane Sandy on the barrier islands of New York and New Jersey was storm surge and storm waves. A powerful surge up to ten feet high overran the barrier islands, washing away beaches, pushing buildings off of their foundations, knocking down trees, destroying utility service, ripping up roads and covering the islands with sand.

The images on this page demonstrate the impact of the surge and how dangerous it would be for anyone who decided to disobey evacuation orders. Humans can easily drown in a surge or die of hypothermia from wind chill.

If you are in an area when a storm surge warning is issued please leave as soon as possible. Storm surge is usually the most deadly hurricane impact. The flood of water arrives so quickly that you can't get away. Water only two feet deep will drown most car engines and make it impossible for humans to run.

Learn more about storm surge.

Compose before-and-after aerial photo pairs for most locations between North Carolina and Massachusetts using the USGS viewer.


Hurricane Sandy - New Jersey Shoreline
Oblique aerial photographs of Mantoloking, NJ. View looking west along the New Jersey shore. Storm waves and surge eroded the beach exposing building foundations, protective dunes, and houses in this part on Mantoloking. The burned houses are visible in the center of the bottom photograph. Only a few pilings remain of the first line of houses. Sediment was deposited on the island, remains on some roads, or has been cleared and placed in large piles in the parking lot behind the house marked by the arrow on the right. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature. [larger version] USGS images.


Hurricane Sandy - New Jersey Shoreline
Oblique aerial photographs of Seaside Height Pier, NJ. View looking west along the New Jersey shore. Storm waves and surge eroded the beach and destroyed the seaward edge of the pier and deposited the roller coaster superstructure in the ocean. Sediment deposited on the island is visible in the background and indicates that overwash occurred here. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature. [larger version] USGS images.


Hurricane Sandy - New York Shoreline
Oblique aerial photographs of Ocean Bay Park, Fire Island, New York. The view is looking northwest across Fire Island towards Great South Bay. Overwash from the beach and narrow dunes carried sand inland towards the interior and bayside of the island, and numerous houses were destroyed or severely damaged. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature. [larger version] USGS images.




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Hurricane Sandy - New Jersey Shoreline
Oblique aerial photographs of Mantoloking, NJ. View looking west along the New Jersey shore. Storm waves and surge cut across the barrier island at Mantoloking, NJ, eroding a wide beach, destroying houses and roads, and depositing sand onto the island and into the back-bay. Construction crews with heavy machinery are seen clearing sand from roads and pushing sand seaward to build a wider beach and protective berm just days after the storm. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature. [larger version] USGS images.




Hurricane Sandy boardwalk destroyed
Oblique aerial photographs of Seaside Heights, NJ. View looking west along the New Jersey shore. Storm waves and surge destroyed the dunes and boardwalk, and deposited the sand on the island, covering roads. The red arrow points to a building that was washed off of its foundation and moved about a block away from its original location. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature. [larger version] USGS images.


Hurricane Sandy boardwalk destroyed
Oblique aerial photographs of Neponsit, New York. The view is looking northwest across Rockaway Peninsula, adjacent to New York Harbor. Sand was washed from the beach into the streets, and towards the bayside of the island, and several rows of ocean-facing houses were destroyed or damaged. The yellow arrow in each image points to the same feature. [larger version] USGS images.


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