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View from space: NASA satellite shows polluted Carolina rivers flowing into ocean

A NASA satellite true-color image that shows water discolored by excess soils, sediments, decaying leaves, pollution, and other debris after Hurricane Florence. (NASA)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Images from a NASA satellite in space show dark, polluted water from Carolina rivers flowing into the Atlantic Ocean.

Visible and infrared images show dissolved organic matter in the water with excess soils, sediments, decaying leaves, pollution, and other debris resulting from Hurricane Florence.

“Organic matter—such as leaves, roots, or bark—contain pigments and chemicals (such as tannins) that can color the water when they dissolve. Depending on the amount of dissolved particles, the water in natural-color imagery can appear blue, green, yellow, or brown as the CDOM concentration increases,” a NASA spokesperson said.

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The Waccamaw River is expected to peak Wednesday at 22 feet near Conway, twice the normal flood stage, higher than the record of 17.9 feet, according to charts published by the National Weather Service.

The Cape Fear and Neuse Rivers aren't expected to return to normal levels until October, the charts show.

North Carolina river swirls with gray muck near flooded coal ash dump

Dam breach at Duke plant; coal ash could spill

Florence: Evacuations continue as North Carolina rivers rise


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