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Hurricane Florence swells river, refills drained lake in South Carolina

(Landsat 8 image of Conway, S.C. before Hurricane Florence) | (Landsat 8 image of Conway, S.C. after Hurricane Florence)

Landsat 8 image of Conway, S.C. before Hurricane Florence Landsat 8 image of Conway, S.C. after Hurricane Florence

Conway, South Carolina experienced serious flooding in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

False color Landsat 8 images captured before and after the storm show the long-lasting impact of the intense precipitation on Conway and the surrounding area, including the resort town of Myrtle Beach, known for its 60 miles of beachfront.

The first image from Aug. 9 shows the river as it typically appears in late summer — a thin black line meandering south and through Conway on its way to the sea.

The river runs past Lake Busbee in Conway. That 330-acre lake was recently drained and restored to wetlands, its triangular shape defined in the Aug. 9 image by black water and bright spots of green vegetation.

The swollen Waccamaw River crested at over 21 feet in Conway on Sept. 26, the day Landsat 8 collected the second image.

In that image, the green land surrounding the Waccamaw northeast of Conway has darkened, pock-marked with pools of black water. The former Lake Busbee is full, as are areas on the northeast side of the lake, just south of downtown Conway.

Satellite imagery archived at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center are useful for monitoring natural and man-made changes to the land’s surface.