Ten Endangered U.S. Beach Towns Named

Ten Endangered U.S. Beach Towns Named
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Chenier Plain, Louisiana

In this picture from October 26, 2005—more than a month after Hurricane Rita swept through—nothing is left standing on Chenier Plain's onetime resort destination, Holly Beach.

When the storm came ashore in September 2005, this part of the Gulf Coast was hit particularly hard. (Read more about Hurricane Rita.)

Geologists say the area was made vulnerable by shallow offshore waters combined with low beaches, where the highest spots rarely reach more than six feet (two meters) above normal high water.

As a result of these conditions, the storm surge didn't simply send waves washing across the plain—it flooded it, with near total destruction in some communities.

—Richard A. Lovett

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—Photograph by Nati Harnik/AP
 
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