The incredible volume of rain that fell over North Carolina from Hurricane Florence, nearly 9 trillion gallons, has utterly changed the landscape, especially in the southeast part of the state, where up to 36 inches of rain fell.
Entire communities, including housing developments, shopping centers, farms, forests and roads, are completely engulfed by water.
Imagery from NASA’s Landsat 8 satellite (about 438 miles above Earth’s surface) shows how radically the storm transformed the land adjacent to the Trent River, which meanders through southeast North Carolina before emptying into the Neuse River, which then spills into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Trent rose to nearly twice the height of its flood stage, according to NASA, and the imagery reveals how the river rose and overwhelmed the surrounding landscape.
Aerial imagery from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, from an altitude of 2,500 to 5,000 feet, offers zoomed-in views where you can see the specific fields and structures swamped by the storm.
In Trenton, which lies along the Trent River, here is what it looked like before and after Florence:
Dakota Smith, a meteorologist for Weather Nation, has shared more than a dozen similar before-and-after scenes using that NOAA aerial imagery on Twitter. Here are a few examples:
In some areas, it will be days or weeks before the floodwaters fully recede and the landscape returns to normal.