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Section of Hatteras Island washed out by storm surge
Section of Hatteras Island
washed out by storm surge

Hurricane Isabel struck North Carolina on the East Coast of the United States on September 18, 2003. Forming in early September in the tropical Atlantic Ocean, the storm had moved northwestward, with peak winds of 165 mph (265 km/h). Isabel made landfall on the Outer Banks with winds of 105 mph (165 km/h), then quickly weakened over land and became extratropical over western Pennsylvania the next day. It produced moderate to heavy damage across eastern North Carolina. Storm surge and strong winds in Dare County damaged thousands of houses and created a 2,000-foot (600 m) inlet on Hatteras Island (pictured), washing out parts of North Carolina Highway 12 and isolating the village of Hatteras for two months. Across the state, up to 700,000 residents were left without power. Three deaths in North Carolina were attributed to the storm, and statewide damage was estimated at $450 million. (Full article...)

Part of the Hurricane Isabel series, one of Wikipedia's featured topics.