Aerial Images Show Irma’s Destruction

(CBSDFW.COM/CBS NEWS) – Newly released satellite and aerial photos show the widespread destruction left by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean islands over the weekend.

Before Hurricane Irma churned its way to mainland U.S., it killed dozens of people, left residents and tourists without power and resources and severely damaged homes and buildings throughout the islands.

A common sight after Irma was also the “browning” of lush green vegetation usually found in the Caribbean.

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NOAA images of Irma damage

NASA says it happens when tropical vegetation is ripped away by a storm’s strong winds, leaving satellites with a view of a more bare ground. It also occurs when salt spray whipped by a hurricane can coat and desiccate leaves still on trees.

Satellites captured scenes of the devastation Irma inflicted on some locations in the Caribbean, including Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten and Barbuda.

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NOAA images of Irma damage

Meantime, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration has released satellite imagery viewers can see for themselves on demand.

A team of NOAA aviators have been taking aerial imagery of locations affected by Hurricane Irma.

The agency says the images are a crucial tool in determining the extent of the damage inflicted by storms and flooding.

Click here to zoom in and out of the areas like Marco Island, Naples, Marathon and Key West.

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NOAA images of Irma damage

NOAA says to access online images, use the “+” button at the top of the page to zoom into the coastal area you’re interested in or search for a specific location.

If you see a black ribbon, this indicates images have been posted for that location and have been overlaid on a map (keep the viewing options as “Mapbox Streets,” the default setting).

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