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 GSA Today, v. 9, no. 12, December 1999


Table of Contents

Science Article: (View Abstract)
Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd: Coastal Effects and Policy Implications
Robert S. Young, David M. Bush, Andrew S. Coburn, Orrin H. Pilkey, William J. Cleary

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Dialogue 3
Washington Report – Trouble at State 8
Submit Session Proposals for the 2000 Annual Meeting 10
Call for Nominations 11
Travel Grants for 31st IGC 11
GSA Foundation Update 12
2000 Northeastern Section Meeting 14
2000 Southeastern Section Meeting 18
2000 South-Central Section Meeting 22
Toward a Stewardship of the Global Commons 25
Call for Applications and Nominations for GSA Bulletin Editor 26
2000 GSA Section Meetings 26
Bulletin and Geology Contents 27
Position Announcements 28
Calendar 32
Classifieds 32
2000 GSA Annual Meeting 33
First GSA Field Forum 33
GSA National Park Interns Expand Public's Appreciation for Geology 36

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Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd:
Coastal Effects and Policy Implications

Robert S. Young, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resources Management, Western Carolina University, Culhowee, NC 28723
David M. Bush, Department of Geology, State University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30118
Andrew S. Coburn, Orrin H. Pilkey, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708
William J. Cleary, Center for Marine Science Research, UNC–Wilmington, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403-3297

Tropical systems Dennis and Floyd impacted eastern North Carolina in 1999, the fourth and fifth storms in three years to make landfall in this area. All five storms were very similar in strength (wind speed); however, the effects on the coast were quite different. In addition to absolute storm strength, morphological changes to the natural environment were controlled by the forward speed of the storms, orientation of the shoreline relative to storm track, underlying geology, impacts of recent storms, and associated rainfall. Damage to buildings was a function of the placement of structures with respect to the shoreline and the removal of weaker buildings by previous storms. On the basis of these observations, we recommend a new Hurricane Impact Scale, which will allow prediction of possible storm impacts and comparisons of coastal impacts in other hurricanes. Each additional hurricane demonstrates that our society does not have a forward-looking plan for dealing with coastal storms. Instead, we typically repair and rebuild in place, and continue the upward spiral of property damage in storms. Although the dollar amount of property damage will be low from these storms, the public must bear the cost of cleanup and repair of infrastructure.

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