Aviators have been helping out with the recovery from last week's storm in multiple ways, including relief flights, evacuations, and more. And a handful of pilots working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have been flying at 5,000 feet above the coastline where the storm hit hardest, creating a high-resolution mosaic of the damage. NOAA's Twin Otters and King Airs are equipped with specialized remote-sensing cameras that have captured thousands of photographs at a resolution of 17 centimeters per pixel. Photos now posted on NOAA's website with a "before and after" scrolling feature reveal the damage to some of the hardest-hit areas, including Atlantic City and Seaside Heights in New Jersey, Ocean City, Md., and parts of Delaware.
"Aerial imagery is a crucial tool used by federal, state, and local officials as well as the public when responding to natural disasters," says NOAA's website. "Many areas may be inaccessible due to the volume of debris. Snapshots of the damage help emergency managers conduct search and rescue operations, route personnel and machinery, coordinate recovery efforts and provide a cost-effective way to better understand the damage sustained to both property and the environment." More images will be posted online as flights continue this week over New York City, Long Island, and parts of Virginia.