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[ Storm Surge ]

Storm surge is a large dome of water, often 50 to 100 miles wide, that sweeps across the coastline near where a hurricane makes landfall.
This surge of water, topped by battering waves and combined with high winds, is often deadly. It can cause great property damage, and often loss of life, as it moves ashore. Historically, storm surge has caused nine out of 10 hurricane fatalities (FEMA). Storm surge heights depend on the complex interaction of several variables, including the size of the storm, the central minimum pressure, the storm's forward speed, the bathymetry (i.e. topography of the ocean bottom, especially near the point of landfall), the timing of the astronomical tides, and most importantly, the maximum wind speed of the storm. When advancing surge combines with the normal tides, the result can be an increased storm tidewater level of 15 feet or more. Because much of the United States' densely populated Atlantic and Gulf Coast coastlines lie less than 10 feet above mean sea level, the danger from storm surge in these hi-risk areas can be catastrophic.

For more info > http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/storm_surge.shtml

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