Storm Surge & Flooding


During a hurricane, there are many dangers
to be leery of, but what most underestimate are the impacts of a storm surge and inland
flooding. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina took the lives
of at least 1,500 people due to direct and indirect impacts of the storm surge. Storm surge is the abnormal rise in seawater
level during a storm measured as the height of the water above the normal predicted astronomical
tide. Winds moving cyclonically around the storm,
push water towards the shoreline. The wind contributes a force stronger than
the low pressure associated with these intense storms. As the water is driven towards land, it accumulates
and creates the storm surge. In some cases, ocean water can rise 20 feet
or higher. Height and strength of a storm surge depends
on intensity, speed, size, angle of approach to the coast, central pressure, and the shape
of coastal features. The steeper the slope of the continental shelf,
the lower the height of the storm surge. And vice versa. Storm surge can cause erosion of the shoreline,
coastal highways, and damage or destroy building foundations. Besides coastal flooding from storm surge,
inland flooding due to intense rainfall can cause significant damage too. Flash floods happen within minutes or hours
and can cause boulders to roll, trees to be uprooted, and building to be destroyed. Urban/area floods cause streets to become
rivers and basements or low-level rooms to fill with water. River flooding can last a week or longer and
is caused by runoff from torrential rains reaching the waterways. Flooding is devastating on its own, and can
cause serious damage to our belongings and we can lose loved ones. Next week we will explore the destructive
properties of wind and squalls as they can be just as disastrous as flooding. Thank you for watching and please subscribe
to my YouTube channel for new videos every #WeatherWednesday!

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