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Satellite imagery seems to indicate Hurricane Ida caused significant damage to parts of Louisiana’s coast

Damage to the coast seems most severe in Barataria Bay
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 12:40 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Satellite imagery from the European Space Agency seems to indicate Hurricane Ida caused significant damage to parts of coastal Louisiana, especially to shorelines in the Mid-Barataria basin.

Before and after images indicate areas of marsh were lost near Lake Salvador south of metro New Orleans.

“It has almost always been vegetated marsh and what we’re seeing from satellite thus far is we’re seeing water signals through large portions of that area,” said Brady Couvillion, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Coastal Restoration Assessment Branch.

Couvillion cautions it is too early to draw firm conclusions since residual flooding in the days and weeks after a hurricane can over-dramatize the extent of land loss.

“A lot of what we see post-landfall is just ephemeral flooding and we don’t want to misinterpret that.”

While Hurricane Katrina in 2005 caused serious damage to Breton Sound and other parts of the coast, Couvillion noted the early effects were often exaggerated.

Mud often moves around in marshes and bays in the period after a storm.

The final extent of the loss may not be known for a couple of months, Couvillion said.

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