Here is the reason why one should think twice about buying or building a house on a barrier island that is in hurricane country. This USGS website also shows convincingly that Hurricane Rita should not be misunderestimated 🙂 just because it barely touched the Houston-Galveston area. It did plenty of damage where the right-front qaudrant made landfall – things would have been very different around here if Rita made landfall at Galveston or a bit to the West of Galveston.
And these images of a barrier island that migrates landward as hurricanes go over it make you wonder how much of the geologic record of barrier islands (and beaches in general) actually consist of fairweather deposits. Everything seems to be moving and redepositing during these storms.