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Hurricane Rita devastated gulf-front communities along the western Louisiana coast in 2005. LIDAR (light detection and ranging) topographic surveys and aerial photography collected before and after the storm showed the loss of every structure within the community of Holly Beach. Average shoreline change along western Louisiana's 140-km-long impacted shore was −23.3 ± 30.1 m of erosion, although shoreline change in Holly Beach was substantially less, and erosion was not pervasive where the structures were lost. Before the storm, peak elevations of the dunes, or berms in the absence of dunes, along the impacted shore averaged 1.6 m. The storm surge,...

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