Hurricane Dorian Damaged Historic Structures and Changed the Coastline Along Parts of North Carolina's Outer Banks

Chris Dolce
Published: September 10, 2019

Hurricane Dorian's storm surge and battering surf changed the coastline of parts of North Carolina's southernmost Outer Banks by carving dozens of new inlets into the beach there.

The National Park Service (NPS) estimated 54 new inlets were cut into the narrow strip of sandy beaches in the southernmost Outer Banks. The storm also cause damaged to historic structures and cabins along North Carolina's Cape Lookout National Seashore.

NOAA's post-storm aerial survey shows the battering the coast took in this before after after comparison below from near the historic Portsmouth Village.

Before and after Hurricane Dorian near historic Portsmouth Village on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

The NPS said 38 structures at the Portsmouth historic site suffered major damage from either flooding or high winds. Portsmouth was established in 1753 and was a bustling port town early in its history before turning into a fishing village. Its last two residents left for the mainland in 1971.

This next comparison shows the damage to the coastline that Dorian inflicted near Long Point Cabins. Breaches near the cabins have caused major damage and NPS said all reservations through the end of the season have been canceled there.

Before and after Hurricane Dorian near Long Point Cabins on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

In addition to all of the damaged structures at Long Point Cabins, a well, water treatment building and fuel farm were also lost, according to the NPS.

The NPS is discouraging the public from entering or traveling to the Cape Lookout National Seashore because of safety concerns.

Many of the new inlets like the ones created by Dorian below will fill back in over time, the NPS said in a Facebook comment.

There are 68 NPS employees from around the U.S. working on aftermath recovery from Dorian at the national seashore.

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